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Shaolin Ulysses: Kungfu Monks in America (2002)

Cast: Beau Bridges
Director: Martha Burr, Mei-Juin Chen
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: New Video Group
Genre: Documentary, Biographies, Film
Running Time: 56 min.
Languages: English
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Filmmakers Martha Burr and Chen Mei-jun join forces to explore the American immigrant experience from the unique vantage point of five émigré monks from China's legendary Shaolin Temple. From constructing new temples to performing under the bright lights in Las Vegas, these Zen masters and kung-fu artists discuss precisely how they attempt to balance the ancient demands of their rich native culture with the often contradictory expectations thrust upon them by Western society. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • 40 minutes of bonus Kungfu footage
  • Animated Short on the Shaolin Temple
  • Filmmakers biographies
  • Filmmakers statement

GreenCine Member Reviews

Monks in Plastic-Moneyland by vuzh October 19, 2009 - 8:53 PM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
This documentary feels like a study in contrasts between a culture of discipline and one of excess.

The Americans interviewed, aside from a few admirably, if unsettlingly earnest young martial arts enthusiasts, were disturbingly shallow, even the children. The Chinese children seemed devoted to a discipline, the American children from what one can gather from the interviews, seem to be only studying kung fu because it will look good on their resume as they aspire to become stars in Hollywood.

By the time the Lambourghini driving douchebag comes on talking about "spirituality and stuff" while squeezing a 'Hooters girl', it's already pretty clear that the whole flick is a whole lot more about the America than it is about Shaolin. Who the hell was that guy supposed to be anyway? He wasn't a monk, he was just some random rich guy with a shaved head. WTF?

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.00)
8 Votes
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