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Buddhist movies?

Inspired by the recent question about Buddhist fiction, I’d like to ask you to share any good Buddhist movies. I’m thinking more about Buddhism-inspired movies than movies about Buddhism (although any exceptional documentaries are welcome!).

There’s only one that I’ve seen, that really stuck in my mind:

Years later it’s still near the top of the best movies list for me.

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This is good, but you have to watch carefully to figure out what is flashback and/or read the Wikipedia plot description, since it is quite complex

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Baraka

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Whatever you do, do watch that terrible Indian show about the Buddha’s life on netflix. :sweat_smile:

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This one?? :thinking:
https://whatsnewonnetflix.com/australia/776/buddha-2013
It seems to not be available here in the Land Down Under (Australia). :slightly_frowning_face:

The Matrix series is completely commercial… with undertones of deep Buddhist philosophy. IMHO, one can only properly appreciate this series if one is a Buddhist practioner as well as a movie buff. :grin:
( Ajahn Brahm has seen it too!)

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Apparently there aren’t many Buddhists making memes or gifs, otherwise I’d post the one where Neo and Agent Smith say “You’re empty.” “So are you.”

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I remember when I was a teenager, and knew very little about Buddhism but desperately wanted to learn more, I first learned about that film. Since this was pre-internet, it took about a decade before I could finally see it. I was always disappointed with the ending. I’ve never read a plot breakdown, though. I’ll have to check it out.

And from the makers of Baraka, Samsara [trailer]

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There are few good ones.

If you are interested in existential movies, i would recommend:

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If it’s this one, it’s not here in Poland either.

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The first one was actually original and great. Next two were more of the same unfortunately.

The Lego Movie ( The first one. If you don’t believe me, just watch it.). And G rated and very funny. When I first saw it, I thought a scriptwriter may have read an Ajahn Brahm book :star_struck:.

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I’d like to see a movie that both accurately depicts monastic life and has a good monk or nun as the main character who doesn’t disrobe at the end or engage in behavior that would immediately get him or her expelled from the sangha. Neither Why has Bodhidharma Left for the East nor Samsara do both of those things. Maybe the powers that be in the film industry think that wouldn’t make for a good movie, though.

I suppose this movie is worth mentioning: Milarepa (2006 film) - Wikipedia. It only covers the 1st half of the book The Life of Milarepa. So Marpa never appears in the movie, and we never get to see Milarepa become enlightened.

Hi dayunbo,

Samsara is a rather fanciful movie, and I’d agree it’s not particularly accurate, though it does raise some interesting questions. Same goes for Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring.

However, though it’s a while since I watched it, the main characters in “Why has Bodhidharma Left for the East” seemed quite realistic to me, and I don’t recall any particular bad actions. Admittedly the main character does raise some money by begging, but handling money is not a defeat offence, and unfortunately is common in these times.

Besides, it would be hard to have much drama in a story where all the characters are perfect from the start. Before his awakening, even the Buddha-to-be made mistakes, and had to overcome various temptations.

Spoiler alert!

Summary

I believe the monk disrobes in the end, right? That’s what I was thinking of. I probably could have been more explicit in my last post, since that isn’t inaccurate or “bad” per se, but I didn’t want that movie to end with the main character disrobing.

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Hi dayunbao

Spoiler alert!

Summary

OK, I guess I was concentrating on the accuracy part. However, the ending is actually quite positive, I think…
And it’s one of the few movies I’ve seen where the writer seemed to have a really good grasp of Buddhism. I didn’t get that impression from “Samasara” or “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring”.

Summary

Yeah, my bad. I should have been more precise in my statement. I agree that overall it represents Buddhism and monasticism fairly accurately. I guess my version of a happy ending for such a movie is the monk soldering on (not disrobing) and attaining some level of insight: “Take that, Mara!”

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