An old man drags his busy son to Varanasi so that he may die and attain salvation there in a comedy about death that, at heart, is a delightful, poignant celebration of life.
Daya Kumar (Lalit Behl) believes that his end is near, so he tells his family that he wishes to die in the holy city of Varanasi, on the banks of the Ganges. The stubborn old man drags along his reluctant adult son Rajiv (Adil Hussain) and they check into the Hotel Salvation, where people come to die. But once there, Daya gets his lust for life back, making new friends with the other "dying" residents. Daya and Rajiv are forced to reconnect – both to each other and to the world around them. Described as an "arthouse take on the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", Hotel Salvation is a wonderfully accomplished film that captures the vibrancy and strangeness of Varanasi with gentle humour. It was awarded the UNESCO Prize at Venice for the film that best represents the values of peace and human rights.
Winner of the UNESCO Prize at Venice for the film that best represents the values of peace and human rights.
The film's appeal is, like an arthouse take on the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, that it treats aging and death with sympathy and dignity, shot through with eccentric humour. – Wendy Ide, ScreenDaily
An Indian comedy full of emotional depth and understated paradox. – Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
Festival guest: Shubhashish Bhutiani