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A compelling picture of the extreme faith


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Once every 12 years, a mystical pilgrimage to the sacred meeting point of three Indian rivers provides a rite of passage for dedicated followers from all around the globe.

Written and directed by Pal Nalin (Samsara), Faith Connections is a captivating documentary exploring the power of myth, superstition and divine ritual. An elaborate account of the ceremonial proceedings provides insight into the nature of the pilgrimage, intertwined with personal stories from a cross-section of people highlighting the reasons for their participation in this extraordinary event.

The rite of passage, commonly known as The Holy Dip, entices more than a million devotees to engage in the ceremony of Kumbh Mela. They abide by the belief that fully immersing themselves in the sacred waters will ensure karmic cleansing and sustain a healthy life.

The host city of Allahabad is among the largest cities of Uttar Pradesh, situated at the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers. The meeting point where the rivers converge is known as Triveni and is especially sacred to Hindus.

Amid the squalor and harsh conditions of the vast location, Faith Connections captures a selection of real-life stories that add to the complexity and mystery of the journey and its magnetic pull.

Released in 2013, the film follows select individuals along the journey and investigates the many challenges faced by a runaway boy, a discarded baby rescued by a Sadhu Yogi and a family desperately trying to find their lost child. Each encounter offers eye-opening accounts of the extreme faith, dedication, trials and tribulation endured by these amazing people in this amazing place.

Faith Connections will screen again at the Mercury Cinema this Friday (September 19) as part of OzAsia on Screen, presented by the Adelaide Festival Centre and the Media Resource Centre.

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