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New documentary about The Beatles' 1968 spiritual journey to India premieres online next month

Credit: Paul Saltzman

A new documentary about The Beatles‘ historic 1968 trip to Rishikesh, India, to study Transcendental Meditation at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi‘s ashram retreat will get its virtual world premiere online on September 9, via Gathr Films’ Gathr at Home platform.

In the movie, Meeting The Beatles in India, award-winning Canadian filmmaker Paul Saltzman tells the story of how, at age 23, he met the world’s most famous band and their entourage at the ashram.  He’d traveled there on his own spiritual quest following a painful romantic breakup.

While at the ashram, Saltzman took many now-famous photos of The Beatles, interacted with the band members, and watched them write some of the now-classic songs they composed during the trip. Saltzman is responsible for the iconic group photo taken in Rishikesh that featured the band, their wives and girlfriends, The Beach BoysMike Love, Donovan, Mia Farrow and others.

The film, which is narrated by Morgan Freeman, features more than 40 previously unseen photos from The Beatles’ stay in India. There are also interviews with several people who were at the retreat with the band, including the late George Harrison‘s ex-wife Pattie Boyd, her sister Jenny Boyd, and the man about whom John Lennon wrote the song “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill.”

The movie also includes Saltzman discussing Transcendental Meditation with Twin Peaks director David Lynch, a huge proponent of TM.

Meeting The Beatles in India also will feature footage of Saltzman paying a present-day visit to the ashram, accompanied by acclaimed Fab Four author Mark Lewisohn.

As part of the virtual premiere, a live Q&A with the filmmaker will take place immediately after the screening.

By Matt Friedlander
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Meeting The Beatles In India_Trailer from spencer hill on Vimeo.