Somethings make you cringe your way out of conformity, others make you cerebrate its existence. The bold and controversial documentary ‘Belly of Tantra‘ manages to do both. Directed by Pankaj Purohit and produced by Babita Modgil and Jeremy Gram Weaver of Onward Entertainment, ‘Belly of Tantra‘ explores the beliefs and rituals of the Aghori sect of Shiv worshipers in India.
Using a very raw approach, the documentary takes you up close and personal into the lives of the Aghoris inhabiting the river banks of the Ganga. The occult clan of sadhus practice unconventional rituals which are considered a taboo in the mainstream practice of Hinduism. With rituals ranging from covering oneself with ashes, eating human flesh and having sexual relations with young virgins to drinking alcohol out of skulls and the ever popular – smoking of cannabis, the film makes you wonder if religion is truly limitless. Moments of the film will leave you aghast as your mind processes the idea that your idea of surreal is very much real to someone else.
Due to its explicit content, the initially banned ‘Belly of Tantra‘ may never see the light of day in mainstream India. However, the documentary has had an impactful reveal on significant platforms across the globe. Screening resulting in rave reviews have been held at The Horse Hospital in London, Maus Habitos in Portugal, Babylon in Berlin, NCPA Tata Theater in Mumbai, Alliance Francaise De in Bangalore and India Habitat Center in New Delhi. The makers are now gearing up for multiple screenings in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC and Canada which will take place during the middle of the year.
Apart from ‘Belly of Tantra‘, Onward Entertainment is also working on ‘Sudden Cry‘, a documentary on child trafficking.