A unique historical chronicle of the enduring love affair between The Beatles and India that started more than half a century ago.
Rare archival footage, recordings and photographs, eye-witness accounts and expert comments along with location shoots across India, bring alive the fascinating journey of George, John, Paul and Ringo from their high octane celebrity lives in the West to a remote Himalayan ashram in search of spiritual bliss that inspires an unprecedented burst of creative songwriting. It is the first serious exploration of how India shaped the development of the greatest ever rock band and their own pioneering role bridging two vastly different cultures.
Director Ajoy Bose was a teenage rebel in Calcutta in love with the Beatles when they came to India. His long mop and the psychedelic flowers painted on his shirt imitating the Fab Four led to fierce fights with his bureaucrat father. In an interesting quirk of fate half a century later as an established journalist and author, Bose was writing a book, Across the Universe to mark the 50th anniversary of The Beatles historic trip to Rishikesh for the world's largest publishing house Penguin Random House.
Inspired by Ajoy Bose's book, British Indian music entrepreneur Reynold D'Silva has now taken the amazing saga of The Beatles and India further by producing Bose's directorial debut. Bose and cultural researcher, co-director, Pete Compton, have created an audio-visual presentation that stands apart from the many documentaries on the band, delving deep into the most crucial period of their evolution from the world's most famous pop stars into multi-faceted pioneering musical artists.
- Interviewed for the first time, ace test pilot Rustom Captain. He flew the helicopter on the legendary flight over the Ganges seated between Maharishi and John Lennon where the latter was convinced the Holy Man would, 'Slip me the answer'.
- For the very first time the story is revealed, 'Rishikesh - the hotbed of espionage' as the CIA is accused in the Indian Parliament of infiltrating the Maharishi's inner circle while the Beatles are there, provoking the KGB to rush its top spy in Delhi to the ashram.
- An eye-witness account from the host of the historic dinner party that brought George Harrison and Ravi Shankar together, forging a relationship that would last over four decades.
- India's most pre-eminent photographer Raghu Rai reveals how he was smuggled inside the ashram to capture the very first image of the Beatles there, a photograph that went across the world.
- Extensive footage of the Maharishi ashram as it is today skillfully blended with images of the same locations while the Beatles were there over half-a-century ago to create a stunning walk through time.
- A widespread range of interviews with people who met the group on their trips to India, most with their stories unheard. From journalists to musicians to teenage girls, each has a unique tale to tell.
- Filmed across India at all the sites of the Beatles visits, Mumbai, New Delhi, Rishikesh and Dehradun.
- An array of unseen photographs, footage and interviews uncovered in India during research on the project including unseen 35MM footage from a film shot at the ashram but never released and an interview with George Harrison recorded with All India Radio in 1966 and unheard since then.
Cast & Crew
Director: Ajoy Bose
Director: Peter Compton
Producer: Reynold D'Silva
Label: ABACUS MEDIA RIGHTS
Run Time: 96 mins
Release Date: 06/21/22