Short Cut to Nirvana

Short Cut to Nirvana
Studio: Mela Films, LLC
Release Date: 2005-10-20
Director: Nick Day, Maurizio Benazzo
WorkNameSort: Short Cut to Nirvana
Our Rating: 2.50

This documentary about a massive yet surprisingly unknown spiritual gathering shows 70 million enlightenment-seekers arriving in Allahabad, India, where three holy rivers (one of which is a mythical, nonphysical river) converge. The event brings together all sorts of gurus and their disciples, as well as those who may still be spiritually browsing. Filmmakers Nick Day and Maurizio Benazzo apparently started out to make a straightforward documentary, but they lock into a narrative pretty early. That helps to move the film forward once its extraordinary sights – like a sadhu who has held up his right arm for 20 years or a Japanese pilgrim who buries herself in a pit for three days – begin to seem ordinary. Though the filmmakers are guilty of injecting predictable disconnects throughout the film – e.g., "India sure is a land of contrasts; look at that guru with a cell phone" – Short Cut is as entertaining as it is illuminating.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.