Ganges -

India’s River of Life


2x 43 / 1 x 56 minutes

Producer, TV:
im.puls Filmproduction
SWR / Länder Menschen Abenteuer
Artes / Decouvertes

Fund: MFG
Medien und Filmgesellschaft

Filmschau B.-W.
Bollywood & Beyond, Stuttgart



"The Ganga, especially, is the river of India, beloved of her people, round which are interwined her memories, her hopes and fears, her songs of triumph, her victories and her defeats. She has been a symbol of India's age-long culture and civilization, ever changing, ever flowing, and yet ever the same Ganga."

Jawaharlal Nehru, First Prime Minister of India, born in Allahabad on the Ganges.

As “the river of life” the Ganges is the identification symbol of a whole nation, and it also reflects the challenges of modern India.
For thousands of years, pilgrims have come from all parts of India to purify themselves in the Ganges water. However, today, it has become a serious threat to health.
We start our journey at the delta of the river, near Bangladesh, and follow it upstream, passing through cities like Varanasi, Allahabad and Rishikesh, and e wind up at the spring in the Himalaya, near Tibet.
The film presents the atmosphere of mystical and sensual India through the dreamy images of pilgrims performing ancient rituals on the banks of the river, under a golden light. Yet, it doesn’t neglect the reality of the effects on the environment brought by the fast development of the country. As a result, through the film, we find an ever-present contrast between beauty and decay. The objective is not only to show actual environmental problems along the river, but also the people who are working towards solutions.

Writer and directors

Georg Schmitt and Pia Liedel

Executive Producer

Georg Schmitt

Prof. Dr.-ing. A.Gosh FH:

„It is very rare that I have seen such a great documentary in TV. Almost all films on India are either full of stereotypes or the personal perspective of the filmmaker is in the foreground. Congratulations to this felicitous film!"

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