What's your favorite Buddhist movie?  Email with your suggestions!

Samsara ~ Filmed over five years in twenty-five countries, SAMSARA is a new, non-verbal documentary from filmmakers Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson, the creators of BARAKA. It is one of only a handful of films shot on 70mm in the past forty years.

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring (2004) - Under the vigilant eyes of Old Monk (Yeong-su Oh), Child Monk (Jong-ho Kim) learns a hard lesson about the nature of sorrow when his childish games turn cruel in a story that's divided into five segments, with each season representing a stage in a man's life. This exquisitely filmed drama directed by Ki-duk Kim is entirely set on and around a tree-lined lake, where a tiny Buddhist monastery floats on a raft amidst a breathtaking landscape.

10 Questions for the Dalai Lama (2006)  Director and Writer - Rick Ray
This fascinating documentary blends an interview with the Dalai Lama with a look back at the history of the spiritual leader and an exploration of the culture of the small city of Dharamsala, India, where His Holiness was exiled 50 years ago. After emailing the Dalai Lama to set up an interview, filmmaker Rick Ray spent the three months until the meeting getting a firsthand view of living conditions in Dharamsala and capturing it all on camera.

Travelers and Magicians (Chang Hup The Gi Tril Nung) (2003)
A westernized civil servant travels to the capital city of Thimphu and then on to the United States. During his journey, a monk tells him a folk tale about a peasant boy who steps across a dream barrier into a remote forest shack, where he promptly embarks on an affair with a shaman's wife. Tshewang Dendup, Lhakpa Dorji, Sonam Lhamo, Sonam Kinga and Deki Yangzom star in this film directed by Khyentse Norbu.
The Buddha (2010)
Through a visual tapestry of evocative paintings and sculptures, this compelling Emmy-nominated documentary from filmmaker David Grubin explores the life of the Buddha, his quest for serenity and his eventual enlightenment. Insightful interviews with contemporary Buddhists, including the Dalai Lama and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet W.S. Merwin, shed light on Buddhism and its relevance today. Richard Gere narrates.
Wheel of Time (2003)
Tracing the foundation of a lifelong spiritual journey, German filmmaker Werner Herzog captures the faith of thousands on an annual pilgrimage to Bhod Gaya, the Indian village in which Buddha is thought to have attained enlightenment. Herzog structures his documentary around the Kalachakra initiation -- a fascinating 12-day ordainment process for Buddhist monks involving the creation of a large "wheel of time" out of sand.

Little Buddha (1994)Keanu Reeves and Bridget Fonda star in this moving drama from Academy Award-winning director Bernardo Bertolucci. In a big American city, a boy and his family discover the story of a prince in a land of miracles. But the miracle becomes real when Tibetan monks appear, searching for their leader's reincarnation ... who they believe to be the boy. Suddenly, their worlds meet, leading the Americans on an extraordinary adventure.

Unmistaken Child (2008) -Filmmaker Nati Baratz follows the spellbinding journey of Tibetan Buddhist monk Tenzin Zopa as he travels far and wide to identify the child who is the reincarnation of his deceased master, Lama Konchog. Acting on instructions from the Dalai Lama, the shy Zopa relies on astrology, dreams and other signs to locate the child, knowing that if he succeeds, he must also convince the boy's parents to release their child into his care.

1 comment:

  1. Travelers and Magicians is one of my favorite movies (Buddhist or not). It is magical, funny, and takes place in Bhutan. What's not to like?