Madhvacharya (1987)

Run Time - 164 min.  |   Countries - India  |  
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The scholarly filmmaker G.V. Iyer here continues his series of films depicting the life stories of important Hindu philosophers and holy men, a task he has been engaged in for many decades. This film follows the life of a 13th-century Brahmin lad who comes to be known as Madhvacharya. As the story opens, he is being trained in his family's traditional monism (all is God), and in the Vedas. When he starts asking unanswerable questions of his teachers, it provokes a furor. However, he upsets his family even more by refusing to become a husband and father and going off to become a homeless renunciate at an early age. He studies with a variety of different teachers, most of whose teachings he ultimately rejects. In this philosopher's movie, Madhvacharya propounds a gentle and humane doctrine based on a form of dualism, which encourages its adherents to relish and enjoy their current lives. This is in sharp contrast to prevailing doctrines which encouraged devotees to practice asceticism, ignore their sufferings, and place all their hopes on a happier future life. A profound scholar, the title character goes on in the second half of this quite long film to defeat countless opponents in philosophical debates.