The Mahabharata

Jean-Claude Carrière

Jean-Claude Carrière, one of the greatest storytellers of our time, delivers one of grandest epics ever written: The Mahabharata. Accompanied by a musician and a dancer, Carrière adopts the role of a traveling bard to tell the story to a new generation of listeners, reprising the style in which it would have been performed in ancient India as an oral epic. Set in an ancient, mythic time, the narrative centers on the war for power between two families: the Pandava, five children of the gods, and the Kaurava, the hundred sons of a king whose legitimacy is in question. This pared-down, magical 90-minute retelling of the classic tale is based on Carrière’s prior collaboration on The Mahabharata with iconic director Peter Brook which resulted in an acclaimed 9-hour theatrical event as well as a 5-hour film version. Bringing decades of knowledge from working with the text and tracing its roots in India, Carrière provides a deeply personal and unique interpretation of the largest epic ever told.


Eighty-three year-old writer, director and actor Jean-Claude Carrière is one of the most successful storytellers of our time, with work spanning six decades. A longtime collaborator with the legendary director Peter Brook, Carrière’s substantial body of theatrical work includes Conference of the Birds and the unforgettable, landmark production of The Mahabharata which lasted nine hours and was the basis for the abridged five hour-long film version released in 1989. His decorated screenwriting career includes collaborations with Jacques Tati, Luis Buñuel, Milos Forman and Philip Kaufman which have won him multiple Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards, Palme d’Ors and the Grand Prize of the Jury at Cannes. His film credits include The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Diary of a Chambermaid, Cyrano De Bergerac, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and Taking Off. Carrière is an Officer of the French Legion d’Honneur, and past President of FEMI, the French National Film School. In the summer of 2014, Carrière was awarded an Honorary Oscar for an “extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement.”