Babaji, an Indian Love Story

The Netherlands 2009, Documentary, 71' | Director, Screenplay Jiska Rickels | DoP Martijn van Broekhuizen | Editor Michiel Reichwein | Sound Rik Meier | Music Horst Rickels

Nobody knows exactly how old Babaji Basant really is. Some people think that he is 107 years old. Babaji is an Indian miracle healer. People come from far and wide to have him take their pains away. But that’s not the only reason. In Hindu tradition, the dead are cremated. Babaji contravenes this custom, however, and buried his wife on his own land. His own grave, directly by her side, has already been dug and is waiting for him. Each morning he lies down next to his wife and waits for death, but it simply won't come. On the contrary: people say that he's getting younger and younger. Jiska Rickels spoke with Babaji, his family and villagers, creating a warm-hearted portrait of an unusual man and a film about life, love and death. Traditional Indian love songs comment the wonderful images.


Dutchwoman Jiska Rickels was born in 1977. She was an actress in musical theatre before beginning studies at the Netherlands Film and Television Academy in Amsterdam. Her graduation film Untertage caused quite a stir. Her first full-length documentary 4 Elements opened the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in 2006. In 2007, she was voted Director of the Year by the Dutch Directors Guild.

Jiska Rickels
Focus: Freedom