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The Trap

2007

This short documentary examines the unlikely interactions between French-speaking fishermen and Buddhist monks and nuns in a Cape Breton village. Seemingly divided by language, culture and religion, these people share more than meets the eye. The film delicately weaves a connection between the beliefs of the 2 groups, who both regard life as a cycle.

https://www.nfb.ca/film/trap

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Little Buddha I have some personal interest in this one. One of my first teachers was a consultant for the Tibetan Buddhist authenticity. His wisdom was completely jettisoned in favour of pandering t

You can watch here on

Documentary about Bikkhuni in Thailand.

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There is a new Documentary about an English Buddhist monk called "Lost in Lane"

http://www.poppoli.com/lostinlane.html

"SYNOPSIS (long)

It´s 1981. A boy at the age of 18 travels from England to Thailand to become a Buddhist monk.

Robert Eddison was born and raised in Nottingham. He had always had the feeling of being a Buddhist and started to practise from an early age. His teacher advised him to seek further guidence, leading Robert to a monastery in Thailand.

His plan to stay there for several months became a decade.

During his years in Thailand he corresponded with buddhists from all over the world. His life was transformed when he decided to visit one of his penpals in Iceland. There he found thousands of Buddhists who had immmigrated to this cold country in the north. He was asked to stay there to serve their religous needs, a task he happily accepted. Suddenly Robert became the only Buddhist monk in Iceland and started a formal religous movement in 1995.

Robert’s life was transformed again when he travelled to Kazakstan to visit a space station to celebrate the end of the millenium. Robert had always been interested in space travels and that interest led him to the suprise of his life. He fell in love with an aerobic instructor in Kazakstan, asked her to come with him to Iceland and marry him. That she did, and Robert disrobed after sixteen years of monkhood.

His marriage lastest for five months. He separated and started to work as a security guard. In few months Robert was transformed from a naïve monk to a “normal” person. Encountering the challenge of wearing pants, paying bills, as well as dealing with the headaches from the opposite sex.

His visit to the “normal world” ended in May 2004 when he travelled to Thailand to become Dhammanando again.

It looks like this film pay also be called "Act Normal"

There is a trailer available at:

http://www.poppoli.com/actnormal.html

Bankei

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I saw the final cut just before Mindfulness & Murder went on the festival circuit. Basically it's entertainment, but it does address Buddhist virtues a bit. Better than average acting from the cast, across the board.

I gave up waiting and bought the local DVD without subtitles. Not a bad movie at all. The excellent soundtrack makes it very atmospheric - more like a ghost movie. Of the books, I preferred Garden of Hell (titled Sister Suicide in the US).

All the credits of the local DVD feature English above with Thai language below. And scenes from the Making Of footage have English subtitles - as if they were expecting an international release that never came...

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So Be It

A gentle, fascinating documentary about the central role of Buddhism in Thai society.

A fascinating documentary about the role of Buddhism in Thai society, “So Be It” follows the experiences of two young boys learning about life through close contact with the faith. Made by the high-profile indie team of helmer Kongdej Jaturanrasmee (“P-047”) and producer Soros Sukhum (“Wonderful Town,” “36”), this accessible item deserves to find an audience locally and is worth the attention of fest programmers and specialty offshore outlets. Pic will receive a limited theatrical release in Bangkok on Oct. 30.

Continuing his interest in projects made on a much smaller scale than the commercial hits he’s scripted or co-written (“Tom Yum Goong,” 2005; “Happy Birthday,” 2008), Jaturanrasmee gives viewers who may know little or nothing about Buddhism a helping hand in the opening segs. It begins with footage of Thai school teachers telling students why Buddhism is important, and explaining the basic principles of self-control and respect for others. This is followed by a voiceover narrator relaying an illustrated version of the story of Sakka and Puri, monks who left their homes to gain knowledge of the physical and spiritual worlds. The documentary returns to this tale occasionally to draw meaningful parallels with the progress of its subjects.

http://variety.com/2014/film/reviews/busan-film-review-so-be-it-1201327387/

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what a great thread, so much stuff here to check out. thanks for everyone's input.

Really enjoyed "Act Normal" and "Travellers & Magicians" was superb.

thanks again all

Travellers & Magicians = unique !!! thumbsup.gif

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Here's a teaser for the film documentary Living Prayer in Buddhism. It was directed by Jean-Claude Lubtchansky, famed for his work on Lord of the Flies and Meetings with Remarkable Men. I served as local production manager on the Thailand segments.

The film can be difficult to track down as it was fully funded by the Axis Mundi Foundation and is for the most part only screened for groups on request, visa the website.

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Here's a teaser for the film documentary Living Prayer in Buddhism. It was directed by Jean-Claude Lubtchansky, famed for his work on Lord of the Flies and Meetings with Remarkable Men. I served as local production manager on the Thailand segments.

A great movie, remarkeble man. Some time ago I downloaded it from Youtube and I saw it a few times. It is about the journey of Gurdjieff towards... Not specific Buddhist but it shows that it concerns a universal phenomenon, inherent in the human condition of alienation and dissatisfaction.
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Brian Perkins's exploration of four young Buddhists' coming of age fuses docu-style observation with transporting spiritualism.

Guy Lodge Film Critic@guylodge

A cultivated sense of calm — no more or less than you’d expect from a study of Buddhist practice — permeates “Golden Kingdom,” an impressively disciplined, occasionally transporting debut feature from globe-trotting American helmer Brian Perkins. Blending documentary-style observation with supernaturally embellished storytelling, this picturesque portrait of four child monks in Myanmar forced to fend to themselves in the absence of their mentor adds a bracing spiritual dimension to an otherwise universal boys-to-men arc. Premiered in Berlin’s youth-oriented Generation strand, the film may only resonate with children of a particularly patient persuasion, but international auds will find keys to this particular “Kingdom” via ample festival travel and niche arthouse bookings.

Portland-born Perkins is hardly the first visiting filmmaker to shed some light on a religion still subject to exoticization and commercial exploitation in Western culture, but “Golden Kingdom” is a more intimate appreciation of Buddhism than Martin Scorsese’s rapturous “Kundun” or Bernardo Bertolucci’s earnest but misguided “Little Buddha.” The first feature film shot in Myanmar since the civil war-blighted region was opened up to the outside world in the last decade, “Kingdom” has been conceived and constructed with painstaking dedication to authenticity: Three of the film’s four young leads are real-life apprentice monks, while the director’s own extensive research into the history, traditions and language of the territory is evident in the final product.

There’s less focus in Perkins’s film on ritualized spectacle, but beauty emerges anyway from the finer details of everyday religious custom: Under the steadily focused, pristinely composed gaze of Bella Halben’s camera, the mere lighting of a match gains acquires a hushed sense of consequence. That, indeed, is the image that bookends this placidly paced adventure; everything in between has a folkloric air to it, as if viewed in the eye of the flame. Furthermore, it’s difficult to identify quite when the narrative takes place, given the spartan, convenience-free state of the remote monastery in which it is set, and glimpses of conflict that has been raging in Burma since the country attained independence in 1948. Yet such imprecision seems paradoxically calculated in a film dedicated to the constancy of inner faith amid outer turmoil.

It’s the stabilizing influence of spirituality, as much the seclusion of the jungle, that appears to shelter these four young ko yin (junior monks) from harsher realities. When the monastery’s chief abbot (U Zaw Ti Ka, himself a real-life Buddhist sayadaw) is called away on a mission to the distant city, however, the boys are left to face practical obstacles that place greater demands on their faith than their routine of peaceable piety. The most resourceful and charismatic of the boys, Witizara (Shine Htet Zaw), is placed in charge, and the film’s focus gradually shifts to his own internal quest for maturity and serenity — not, for most boys, a complementary pair of objectives. The only non-monk of the quartet — though a similarly unaffected non-pro presence — the young actor is an engaging, visibly thoughtful guide for viewers into the pic’s esoteric reaches; Perkins keeps a respectfully objective distance from Buddhist tradition itself, but doesn’t shy away from uncanny incursions on the narrative.

At a little over 100 minutes, “Golden Kingdom” might benefit from an even more slender frame; a handful of lulls and repetitive tests of resilience within Witizara’s journey to self threaten to break the film’s meditative spell. Even at its most languorous, however, the film’s shimmering imagery never palls: Working with soft natural light and an earthy palette, Halben’s lensing doesn’t feel obliged to sweeten the wonder of the location, but provokes a number of gasps anyway. David C. Hughes’s score is similarly sympathetic to the pic’s organic approach, seamlessly fusing traditional instrumentation with the avian chirrups and wind-rustled foliage of its sound design.

http://variety.com/2015/film/reviews/berlin-film-review-golden-kingdom-1201436518/

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