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Wheel of Time (2003)

Cast: The Dalai Lama (XIV), The Dalai Lama (XIV), Takna Jigme Sangpo, more...
Director: Werner Herzog, Werner Herzog
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Fox Lorber
Genre: Documentary, Foreign, Germany, Religion, UK
Running Time: 80 min.
Languages: English
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Celebrated filmmaker Werner Herzog turns his attention to one of the largest Buddhist gatherings in the world in this documentary. Each year, thousands of Buddhist pilgrims travel to the village of Bhod Gaya in India (the place where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment) to take part in the Kalachakra Initiation. As the visitors stream into Bhod Gaya, many traveling on foot and often stopping to prostrate themselves as a sign of devotion, a team of monks create a beautiful and intricate sand painting on Mount Kallash, which is scattered to the winds by the Dalai Lama at the end of the 12-day celebration as a symbol of the impermanence of existence. Herzog documents the ancient rituals of this ceremony as well as profiling the Dalai Lama and some of the many Buddhists who travel to India for this event. Wheel of Time was originally produced for German and British television, though it enjoyed a theatrical release in the United States. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

"It seems that now, finally, recognition has arrived at Werner Herzog's feet, and for an inveterate, lifelong Herzogian (alright, since adolescence), his current presence in the cultural forebrain is something of a vindication." So begins an appreciation of one of cinema's great and true iconoclasts from Michael Atkinson. Full article >>

GreenCine Member Reviews

Not Western Buddhism by DNelson6 September 21, 2011 - 2:35 PM PDT
I found myself entranced by the degree of spectacle associated with the Buddhist gathering documented on the film. I couldn't help but draw parallels between what they showed and bygone Catholicism. I am not a Buddhist, but I have a basic exposure to their teachings, at least as they are presented to westerners. What is missing in the account I have been given is the level of religiosity; belief and devotion. For those interested in religion in the east, this provides one perspective.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.46)
37 Votes
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