The Doctor from India DVD Review: An Incredible Story

Kino Lorber presents The Doctor from India, a documentary film by Jeremy Frindel that explores the life and career of Dr. Vasant Lad, the doctor who first brought Ayurveda and Ayurvedic medicine to the United States. The film combines interviews, animation, playful stock footage, and archival footage to tell Dr. Lad’s story. The Doctor from India also includes interviews with Usha Lad, Deepak Chopra, Robert Svoboda, Dr. David Frawley, Claudia Welch, and Len Blank.

Ayurveda is an ancient form of medicine from India that is said to have been created when Dhanvantari, the Hindu god of Ayurveda, decided to incarnate himself as a king of Varanasi. During this incarnation, he taught Ayurveda medicine to a group of physicians. This form of natural medicine is based on balancing the body through food and meditation in order to heal and prevent illness.

While many in the American world consider Ayurvedic medicine a pseudoscience, there is a devoted group of practitioners and patients who follow its tenets. It is been popularized by Deepak Chopra on a larger level through his books and media appearances. Books on the practice of Ayurveda and the Ayurvedic diet are readily available through book outlets like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

And while Ayurveda might be another holistic movement being embraced by Americans, it is still a sacred and holy practice and a very real form of medicine to Dr. Lad and his students. He is so committed to the practice and teaching that he splits his time between the United States and India in order to heal and teach as many people as possible through his clinic.

This film is a beautiful and playful look at the doctor’s life and work. His story is an incredible one and Frindel offers the audience insights about the choices a healer has to make when their work is not readily accepted by the medical world at large. The film also examines what can happen when ancient spiritual practices become part of popular culture and the choices that practitioners have to make.

The Doctor from India is now available on DVD from Zeitgeist films and Kino Lorber and has a runtime of 89 minutes. The bonus features on the DVD include six deleted scenes, the official trailer, and a 50-minute lecture on self-awareness by Dr. Vasant Lad.

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Darcy Staniforth

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