- Unexpected artivism: the fabulatory function in Kumaré
- Studies in Documentary Film
- Volume | Issue number
- 9 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
This article addresses artivism in Vikram Gandhi's 2011 documentary film Kumaré: The True Story of a False Prophet. The documentary tells the story of the fake guru Kumaré (played by Gandhi) who sets out to prove that spiritual leaders are illusions and that the power of self-transformation lies within the individual. Gandhi's intention of revealing the illusory quality of representation in religion forms the more conventional artivist arc of the documentary. The documentary's self-help narrative is, however, challenged by the filmmaking process that creates an unexpected relational field extending well beyond Gandhi's intentions. The article elaborates on unintentional relationality through the notion of fabulation and argues for an ethics that foregrounds collective creativity and questions individualistic self-transformation.
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