BritBox's 'The Beatles & India' Trailer Teases A New Look At The Fab Four

Maharishi and The Beatles in 'The Beatles and India'
Maharishi and The Beatles in 'The Beatles and India' (Photo: Colin Harrison/BritBox)

The Beatles only existed as a band for about ten years, from 1960 to 1970. However, their effect on the Western world in that brief time is still being processed over half a century later. Moreover, their career as a band neatly divided into two halves: Beatlemania, when they were a touring boy band, and the Studio Years, the beginning of which coincided with their stopover in Delhi in July 1966, and the band's subsequent immersion in Indian culture, which became a two-way street, as they brought Eastern philosophy to the mainstream, while also influencing Indian society.

How that exchange affected both the Beatles' art and India's culture is now the subject of a documentary film, The Beatles and India, from Indian author and journalist Ajoy Bose in his directorial debut. An adaptation of Bose's 2018 book, Across the Universe: The Beatles in India, the film explores the three-year immersion into Indian culture that the Beatles experienced from late 1966 until their break up at the end of the decade. It also takes a look at how the Beatles' Western sound influenced Indian youth culture, using never-before-seen footage and rare recordings of George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr.

Like Peter Jackson's recent Get Back documentary that streamed on Disney+ over the holidays, The Beatles and India first made its debut on the film festival circuit, closing out the U.K. Asian Film Festival and screening at the British Film Institute in London, where it got mainly positive reviews. The film was then snatched up by Channel 4, releasing on digital platforms overseas in October 2021. The film finally makes its U.S. debut in mid-February as one of BritBox's significant exclusives for the month.

Check out the trailer:

Here's the documentary's logline:

Inspired by Ajoy Bose's book, Across the Universe, British Indian music entrepreneur Reynold D'Silva (Audrey, The Ninth Gate) has taken the amazing saga of The Beatles and India further by producing Bose's directorial debut. Bose and cultural researcher, co-director, Pete Compton (It Was Fifty Years Ago Today!), have created an audio-visual presentation that stands apart from the many documentaries on the band, delving deep into the most crucial period of their evolution from the world's most famous pop stars into multi-faceted pioneering musical artists. The Beatles and India features unseen recordings and photos, rare archival footage, eye-witness accounts as well as walkthroughs of the stunning locations in India the band visited.

This film is a must-watch for the music nerds due to the different perspectives on one of the world's most famous bands. It's also notable for the music it inspired. A companion album, The Beatles and India: Songs Inspired by the Film, is available to stream and for digital download and worth checking out. It is a round-up of recordings by contemporary Indian artists, including Anoushka Shankar and Monica Dogra, of Beatles songs by Lennon/McCartney and Harrison, plus a few tracks from their solo careers. 

The Beatles and India will premiere on BritBox on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022.