Werner Herzog’s interest in the complementary relationship between the physical and spiritual worlds forms the bedrock of Wheel of Time, his sterling documentary about a 2002 gathering of 500,000+ Tibetan Buddhists in Bodh Gaya, India (as well as a later, smaller assembly in Austria) for the sacred Kalachakra ritual presided over by the Dalai Lama. Allowed seemingly unfettered access to this holy ceremony – in which an intricate sand painting called the mandala (a.k.a. the wheel of time) is created one colored grain of sand at a time – Herzog sets about crafting a respectful depiction of religious zealotry through his typical brand of extravagantly exaggerated narration, interviews with the Dalai Lama (who opines that the center of the universe is every man) and hypnotic shots of the vast natural world and Buddhists prostrating themselves in worship (including a Mongolian who traveled 3 ½ years on foot to attend the event, bowing, kneeling and lying down every other step of the way). In these images of robed men and women obsessively genuflecting in rhythmic prayer, as well as those of workers painstakingly constructing the mandala, mechanically preparing food for the mass congregation, or making a pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash in Tibet for a flag-raising ceremony, Herzog conveys a sense of how repetitive ritual and corporeal endurance are the Buddhists’ means of achieving harmony between their external and internal selves. And via penetrating handheld camerawork that – as in a scene of Buddhists madly scrambling for gifts – often comes into intimately close contact with the devout, one also senses the maverick director’s own subtle attempts to achieve personal unity with the fervent faithful, whom he likely views as kindred spirits.