The Circle is a documentary film about the transformational power of yoga in treating drug addiction in the street children of Mumbai. Made by Philippa Frisby who lives near Lambourn, the film focuses on the centre in Dharavi, which finds and takes in some of the most vulnerable members of society, ultimately reforming their lives.
The documentary tells the tale of four street children through their individual stories, portraying their harrowing ordeals whilst living on the streets. We hear how they fall into a cycle of addiction – one from the age of just seven – how they live out of dustbins, and survive simply by selling rubbish, using drugs to block out their inner pain.
As the film was shot organically over two years, we witness their gradual transformation: We see them going to school, forming friendships with other boys in the centre and beginning the process of rebuilding their self-esteem and hope for the future.
The film gives a vivid insight into daily life in the centre and the people who run it, some of whom were themselves street children struggling with addiction. They, like the children they look after, have managed to overcome terrible hardship to turn their life full circle and become role models for everyone afflicted by addiction. The Circle is a moving, at times disturbing, but ultimately uplifting tale of the human spirit.
Producer, Writer & Director of ‘The Circle’, Philippa started her career with television after acquiring a degree in Comparative Religion. The first film she ever worked on was shot in India and her lifelong interest in yoga inspired the filmmaker in her to make a film on this subject.
‘The Circle’ is her first feature length documentary film about treating drug addiction with yoga.
It has won 5 awards including Special Jury Mention in Jaipur and Best Documentary in Calcutta and Delhi International Film Festival and been shown in 9 festivals.
In this centenary year celebrating the birth life and work of BKS Iyengar, this film highlights the importance of yoga and the far-reaching impact it has had in the darkest corners of society.
Philippa produced the Circle herself with limited funds. It took nearly 3 years to make and was driven by her passion and unyielding commitment to the subject with a small talented dedicated crew from India.
She has since then formed her own production company IndigoEye Productions and is now working on her next documentary film.
Click here to listen to an interview with Philippa on 4LEGS Radio (from 23mins30sec) about her journey from yoga teacher to award-winning filmmaker.