Ashtanga, NY – a yoga documentary
Sound: C+ Extras: C+ Documentary: C+
Yoga still has some kind of stigmatism on it, and
Republicans even included it in a manifesto of things to be banned, despised
and avoided. Ashtanga, NY is not
a how-to or instructional title (especially since this site does not review
those), but it does happen to have the events of 9/11/01 happen in the middle
of its scheduled get-together in New York of all places. Stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Willem Dafoe
even show up and discuss its benefits.
However, the 9/11 events are an odd ending to this
hour-long program, still stuck on the peace of mind Yoga brings, without really
getting into how it could help people deal with the tragedy. I am amazed the missed opportunity, though
other problematic issues surface, like the way the many different ways Yoga is
taken in and being lived by various people.
This does not break many of the prejudices that still exist against Yoga
and never takes best advantage to discuss the benefits beyond what an
instructional video would do. Caroline
Laskow & Mary Wigmore were obviously making a different project, but its
points are limited at best. Too bad.
This was shot on full frame, 1.33 X 1 video and is clean,
if not spectacular, while the Dolby Digital 2.0 captures the simple stereo the
taping offers. Extras include text on
the filmmakers, outtakes, a Hindu ritual, a “visit” with the filmmakers and
trailers to five other First Run DVD titles.
They too do not add to the program, so only big Yoga fans should apply.
- Nicholas Sheffo