Journey to the West

This is a Chinese documentary from early 2022 about Fa-Hien’s travels to India

There is some interesting visual reconstruction of what Buddhist Asia may have looked like in the 5th century.

Fa-Hien’s account of his travels has been translated in 1886. Here is the link in case anyone is interested:

Spoiler warning:

We learn at the end that it wasn’t actually written by Fa-Hien, who (unlike Hiuen Tsang who, inspired by him, followed much more methodically in his footsteps 230 years later) hadn’t planned to write an account of his travels.


And here’s the Chinese movie on Xuan Zang.


Thank you
I wasn’t aware of this one

Just to clarify:
Hiuen Tsang = Xuang Zang = Yuan Chwang, just different romanization

The context is that China and India are engaged in a cultural war about who owns the heritage of Buddhism in which China produces media content to support its position. The physical background is its BRI (Belt and Road) initiative, which is based on the Silk Road used by Chinese monks to travel to Buddhist countries in early times.

India’s Look East policy is an effort to cultivate extensive economic and strategic relations with the nations of Southeast Asia to bolster its standing as a regional power and a counterweight to the strategic influence of the People’s Republic of China.”—Wikipedia

One might also say that they use the opportunity to carry out anti-“Hinayana” propaganda, but the best I think is to set aside bad qualities and instead focus on good qualities of the work, of which there are plenty.

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Gee, and here I was thinking about the Uyghurs. Boom. It’s amazing what movies can do.

It’s amazing what US propaganda can do :wink:

Oh, we Canadians have specific exemptions from NAFTA and laws and things to protect Canadian culture against the awesome powers of our dear friends to the south. We know we are the mouse dancing with the elephant and what a handshake between us can mean. :crazy_face:

Actually if you watch the documentary you should see that India is very favorably portrayed

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Orthodox Mahayana bhikshu,
heterodox cinematographic details,
Across the Pamir mountains await,
multitudinous Indian Buddhist scriptures,
Recorded for posterity in Sinhala.