Unmistaken Child

Critics Consensus

Nati Baratz's thoughtful, beautifully filmed documentary is a moving testament to the power of faith.



Total Count: 36


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,162
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Movie Info

In 2001, when his master Lama Konchog passed away, Tenzin Zopa, his disciple of 21 years was bereft and lonely. At the instruction of the Dalai Lama, Zopa is searching for his master's reincarnation, who is expected to be embodied in a little boy and might be anywhere in the world. This "unmistaken child" must be found before it becomes too difficult to remove him from his parents' care--within four years.

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Critic Reviews for Unmistaken Child

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (16)

  • This documentary is only partly a story of the chosen one; mainly, and more intriguingly, it's a chronicle of the choosing one, of the nervous young monk charged with the job of leading the search party.

    Oct 2, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Films that address faith and love as eloquently as this moving 2008 documentary are rare.

    Oct 2, 2009 | Full Review…
  • The film is fascinating on every level -- as a portrait of a willing servant in a complex, powerful and inscrutable religious system and a feast of spectacular sights and unusual mundane events in a corner of the world rarely exposed to prying eyes.

    Oct 2, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • [Director] Baratz doesn't ask any of the obvious questions, preferring to observe uncritically, and if you can do the same, you may find Unmistaken Child worth seeing. I could not, and grew restless.

    Jul 23, 2009 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • [Director] Baratz's access to every stage of the process -- from Zopa's selection of a candidate to the testing of that candidate to the blessing of the Dalai Lama himself -- is phenomenal, almost indescribably privileged.

    Jul 16, 2009 | Rating: 4/4
  • You could argue that the film would be stronger if it explained more fully and asked more questions, yet "Unmistaken Child'' stands as a window on a beautiful and mysterious world. The questions it leaves hanging are for us to untangle.

    Jul 16, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Unmistaken Child

  • Feb 27, 2010
    Tenzin Zopa is a monk with a beautiful spirit, and watching him search for the reincarnation of his master is an awe-inspiring and emotionally bittersweet journey.
    meril l Super Reviewer
  • Apr 08, 2009
    Incredibly moving documentary about a Buddhist monk's search for the reincarnation of his former master. A fascinating journey, told in an almost narrative form, "Unmistaken Child" is a rare glimpse into an ancient spiritual process that is nothing short of unforgettable.
    Matthew L Super Reviewer

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