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The Beatles family relaxed, composing with no screaming
Meeting The Beatles in India is the filmmaker's personal account of how he, as a 23 year old Canadian, actually spent intimate time with The Beatles and their current partners at the Maharishi's Ashram in Rishikesh. Saltzman recalls The Beatles warm friendliness as they socialised and composed 30-48 new songs.
The Beatles were searching for the 'heaven' within or the inner bliss that meditation can provide. They learnt a simple mantra to set up a vibration to transcend the most subtle thoughts; many spiritual practices use such 'mantras' or sacred sound vibrations. With the least expectation being to return to our daily mayhem renewed and refreshed; but known to spark hope in effecting real change from within, permeated with the deep inner peace radiating from pure love.
They speak of the blissful joy, a real high, 'a taste' well known to meditators that motivates them to stabilise that blissful state. The Beatles owned that they sought such spirituality as fame and wealth didn't get them that 'satisfaction'.
This mesmerising documentary flows well. The music includes some well-loved Beatles tunes and soothing rhythmic Indian music that The Beatles openly embraced which in turn revived the sitar's popularity. We hear recounts of two characters featured in their songs that we all know - Bungalow Bill and Prudence.
Saltzman's incredible photos documenting this relaxed encounter are now on public display in Liverpool and other museums exhibiting The Beatles history. Not usually a fan of cartoon-type illustrations, I found these still 'likenesses' brought the filmmaker's narrative to life.
A must-see documentary for any Beatles fan minus the screaming, and for those curious about meditation or India! It offers some real insight into why they were so successful. The ending has a couple of unexpected twists, so don't miss this most entertaining recall of a tranquil and very memorable encounter.