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Part road movie, part spectacle, part drama, Monsoon is Sturla Gunnarsson's meditation on chaos, creation and faith, set in the land of believers. The subject is the monsoon, the incomparably vast weather system that permeates and unifies the varied culture of India, shaping the conditions of existence for its billion inhabitants.

3 out of 4 stars

Title
Monsoon
Directed by
Sturla Gunnarsson

With its sweeping images recorded in ultrahigh-def, Monsoon is a visual stunner – a visceral experience of India during monsoon season. You can almost feel the thick humidity before the rains – and the relief when they do come. And through the documentary's characters – a 12-year-old girl living in a below-sea-level village; a wise and poetic retired weather-office director; a Calcutta bookie who takes rainfall bets – you get a sense of the place. But while the structure – following the path of the monsoon – is promising, the content does not always live up to the spectacle. There's a lot of surface-skimming and not enough depth. Still, you'll walk out amazed by what you've seen (and ready to get on the next flight).

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