globalized world invades a traditional Buddhist monastery
in this prize-winning film directed by Khyentse Norbu,
a Buddhist lama, and shot in an actual monastery with
real monks for actors. Read
a review here. For an interview with the director,
this funny, intriguing, popular American film of 1999
makes no mention of religion or spirituality, two of
the characters exhibit some of the characteristics of
enlightenment, and the emotion that affects many viewers
at the end is spiritual awareness, although most of
them probably don't realize it. This is an oddity, a
modern western work of art that successfully conveys
deep religious sentiment. One of the film's many nice
touches which slide past with perfect lack of emphasis
is that all its acts of violence are motivated by love.
Most viewers would be astonished that we take it as
a religious film, and that's one of the things that
make it so wonderful.
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page was published on December 1, 1999 and last revised
on May 9, 2000.