Partners: Lion Television and Mountains Green Films for Smithsonian Channel U.S.; distributed by All3Media International
Length: 1 x 60 minutes
Aired: October 2013 (U.S.)
Rights available: TV, home video, non-theatrical for world excluding U.S.
As friends grow older, they can find themselves taking wildly divergent paths from each other, but their bond remains intact. Take, for example, the friendship between actor Dominic West (The Wire, 300) and Sir James Mallinson, Sanskrit scholar and the fifth baronet of Walthamstow. Boyhood friends from Eton, their dreams took them to different parts of the world, but this film sees them reunite to attend the largest gathering of human beings the world has seen thus far – the 2013 Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, India. At this, the largest religious festival in the world, Mallinson will be initiated as a ‘mahrant,’ or abbot, of a Hindu order, and West will be immersed in a fascinating spiritual tradition.