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Special Programme THE EYES OF BUDDHA 


It can’t be said that Buddhism has very often served as a main or supporting theme in films, but some aspects have surfaced. There are of course documentaries on many different levels as well as some fairly well-known and successful feature films. In the past, BNFF filmgoers have had a chance to see Buddhism-themed films such as Martin Scorsese’s epic "Kundun" or Pan Nalin’s "Samsara". Or a lama Khyentse Norbu’s films "The Cup" and "Travellers and Magicians". Or the Korean comedy of the absurd, "Hi Dharma". Kim Ki-duk won over Estonians completely with his Samsara-like cycle of life tale "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring".

Flirting with Buddhist themes is nothing foreign to Hollywood either. The most commercially successful film in this field is the 1986 comedy "Golden Child" starring Eddie Murphy. "Seven Years in Tibet" starring Brad Pitt also enjoyed great success, "Little Buddha" starring Keanu Reeves received less attention. The box office smash "Matrix" also tells that nothing is real, which Buddhists have known for centuries and they name the veil of illusion that separates us from reality: the maya.
Just as it is not easy to define Buddhism, it is also not easy to say what makes a Buddhist film.
Our programme only includes films that have not yet been screened in Estonia, thus none of the films mentioned above will be shown.
More and more clearly, Buddhist teachings is finding a place outside of its traditional cultural sphere. The Dalai Lama is a symbol of compassion, happiness, wisdom and peace in the Western world, too. Buddhism is everywhere, from the stark snowy mountain tops to the noisy nightclubs of big Western cities. Where is mind, there is the opportunity for enlightenment.
What kind of power is vested in the figure of Buddha, sitting in such unaccountable serenity on the shelves of our shops? What do his eyes see in our world? These films help us understand.

Kaarel Kuurmaa, programme co-ordinator


A BUDDHA
/ UN BUDA
CALL IT KARMA 
ENLIGHTENMENT GUARANTEED / ERLEUCHTUNG GARANTIERT
WHEEL OF TIME / RAD DER ZEIT
SANKARA
VALLEY OF FLOWERS
MILAREPA











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