Gods for a week

When Shiva enters your body

About This Project

Once a year, a peaceful Indian village in West Bengal is the stage for the Samnyasi performance: men and boys perform acts of bravery to defy pain and bring fertility to their land.
Thanks to the powers bestowed on them by God they don’t seem to feel any pain and can withstand fasting and strenuous activities under the scorching sun.
Surajit is one of them: will the power of God protect him from tongue piercing arrows and flesh penetrating nails?

This ritual, once forbidden under British rule, is now acquiring new strength in some rural areas. After our first trip in 2009 we went back six years later to film and experience how these practices have evolved.


West Bengal, India

Production date



Bengali with English subtitles

Documentary, Work in progress