Posted at 6:12 PM on June 11, 2009
by Euan Kerr
Documentary filmmaker Kate Churchill's "Enlighten Up!" sets out to see what happens when an open-minded skeptic immerses himself in the world of yoga.
She finds a former journalist called Nick Rosen (above) in New York City. As a long-time practitioner Churchill admits she is fascinated by yoga, but doesn't quite understand it, and she is hoping a neophyte might find some of the answers she is missing, (preferably on-camera.) Nick claims he's not spiritual, he just wants facts.
The yogic pair embark on a tour which starts around a few of the yoga studios in NYC, which are part of a billion-dollar industry in the US, then takes them across the US to Hawaii, and finally to India.
We see him stretch, hang upside down, confront a cobra, get a massage which leaves him sore and taken aback at the advice he gets at its culmination. He also meets practitioners, gurus, mystics, and living yoga legends who tell him practicing poses will get him healthy, but he should really look for God.
Then they stress that's only if he wants to.
It's a six month process which spins poor Nick around so much, he's not quite sure which end is up. Kate doesn't seem very happy about what's happening either, but seems to accept it as part of the process.
"Enlighten Up!" is a movie which raises many questions and only answers a few. It's entertaining. Yet it also shows there are many people struggling to find meaning and purpose in life, who are dissatisfied with the answers they dofind. As a result "Enlighten Up's" enlightenment only goes so far.