Screened as part of NZIFF 2013
In 1970, Jeffrey Kagel turned down the chance to record as lead singer for the band soon-to-be Blue Öyster Cult. Instead, he sold all his possessions and moved from the suburbs of Long Island to the foothills of the Himalayas in search of a little-known saint named Neem Karoli Baba. Jeremy Frindel’s admiring film follows Kagel’s journey to India and back, witnessing his struggles with depression and drug abuse, to his eventual emergence as Krishna Das – or KD as he prefers – world-renowned spiritual teacher and Grammy-nominated chant master. He is probably the world’s best-known singer of kirtan, a call-and-response chanting of, normally, names for God in Sanskrit.
“First-time director Jeremy Frindel’s intimate documentary charts the journey of the immensely successful Das, and follows him on a US tour, with archival material and concert footage capturing the humble, benevolent essence of a unique artist. Modest and affecting, it’s a portrait of the possibility of finding peace, contentment and self through both music and spirituality.” — Nick Schager, Time Out
“My chanting isn’t some new-age kind of thing. This is an ancient practice that I absorbed when I lived in India. It has become my meditation practice, it has helped me overcome depression, self-loathing, even a cocaine addiction.” — Krishna Das, NY Times