darshan: the embrace

The documentary drew critical acclaim at its Cannes Film Festival premiere. Darshan: The Embrace follows one of India’s most revered spiritual guides and winner of the 2002 Gandhi King Award as she spreads her philosophy of motherly love.

Known as “the hugging saint,” Amma is a woman who has dedicated her life to amission that is both simple and profound: traveling around the world to hug others with the sole purpose of promoting compassion for all beings. The daughter of a lower-caste fisherman, Amma has defied the traditional gender roles and social maxims of India, refusing marriage and ignoring taboos about single women touching strangers.

What began as a humble endeavor has grown into a worldwide phenomenon; the demand for her presence is overwhelming and donations in Amma’s name are extensive, enabling her to commit millions of dollars to schools, hospitals, and orphanages annually. Jan Kounen’s film reveals the charitable spirit behind Amma’s mission, and provides a stunning look at how, in this age of materialism, one woman has chosen to embark on a journey of the heart.

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