This movie reveals many of the key concepts of Buddhism. They make mention of the Four Noble Truths, the Buddhist belief that nothing is permanent, and the fact that in Buddhism, nobody is above being taught. Even though Kundun was seen as a spirit, he was still raised and taught by teachers. He wasn't all-knowing. Also, a ritual in the Buddhist religion that has particularly interested me this semester is that of sand mandalas. In Kundun, a giant sand mandala was constructed. When Kundun's father was chopped up, it was done as a sky burial, a common ritual. The movie relates to how the world religions are seen as holding progress of the world back. The Chinese leader thought that Buddhism was a plague on the people of Tibet and needed to be removed from the government of the country. The people of the world have become more intelligent and think that religion is outdated with no place in a modern society. As we become more advanced we have lost focus on the importance of the teachings that all religions have passed down through the generations. We now put our faith and trust in finding our own answers to the problems we face. The Chinese in the film were only concerned with expanding the empire and becoming the dominant country in the region. The Chinese leader felt that Buddhism was in the way of his conquest for power and the communist rule that he inspired.
This suffers from the typical biopic problems of having to fit too much in. The acting is strangely wooden in parts. Beautifully shot and scored though.
The Dalai Lama is a very important Buddhist monk in the country of Tibet and is seen as a very important religious leader all of the world. The film touches on quite a few Buddhist teachings. In the film you will see young Kundun being taught the basic teachings of Buddhism. For instance, young Kundun was being asked to recite the three jewels, which are the three things that Buddhists take refuge in, and look toward for guidance. "The daily observance of formally taking refuge in these "three jewels"-the Buddha, the dharma, and the sangha-is regarded by many as being the closest thing to a Buddhist "creed" and is regarded as the definitive act that makes someone a "Buddhist. (Brodd, pg. 180)" The Dalai Lama is a very important religious leader in the sense that he represents ass Buddhists, their teachings, and their way of life, and is seen in such a way because the Dalai Lama is believed to be the Buddha of Compassion. In the opening of the film, you see colorful art, which turns out to be sand, which is known as a mandala. "While mandalas are used in Hinduism, where they also function as cosmological diagrams used for meditation, some Buddhists utilize them in unique ways. (Brodd, pg. 189)." Although the Dalai Lama is not in his hoe country of Tibet, he continues to represent the nation of Tibet and its people and the prime example of compassion.
Brodd, Jeffrey, Layne Little, Bradley Nystrom, Robert Platzner, Richard Shek, and Erin Stiles.
"Buddhism." Invitation to World Religions. New York, NY: Oxford UP, 2013. 143-209. Print.
Kundun is a film that depicts when the communist country of China invades Tibet to enforce a communist government in a peaceful nation of Tibet. In order to save his life the Dalai Lama must flee to India to make sure he survives. Originally the Dalai Lama travels to China to meet with Chairman Mao Zi Dong, in hope that they would be able to understand each other.
This film reminds me of many ways of how World Religions are so similar. There have been so many instances where religions leadership individuals are sought after by governments. When the opposition gets scared of being overpower or conquered they turn to violence a lot of the time. For some reason violence is used as a power mechanism to show all the strength that one man has if you fail to obey them. The Dalai Lama and his teachings were seen as a threat to China, Chairman Mao wanted a united power of religious power that he would control in Mainland China, and Tibet was to join it one way or another.
Another way this movie relates to World Religions is spiritual aspect it contains. The monks are in search for the next Dalai Lama. They rely upon being guided spiritually to finding the next individual to lead a population of followers to living a life in tune with His teachings. Every religion has a spiritual aspect to it. They receive divine guidance, answers to personal prayers etc all by using their spiritual part to their body and mind. There must be a higher power to guide us.