It is necessary to mentioned that “Little Buddha” is a powerful and highly entertaining movie. Actually such films are rare, because it is filled with things being not only entertaining, but such as also uplift people’s spirits and leave positive meaning. This movie makes people think about life and death, about joys and pressures of human’s lives.
The film is highly philosophical and touches three main elements of Buddhist teachings: reincarnation or re-birth, impermanence and the question of enlighten. All the three elements are involved in the movie. These elements seem to be eternal and strongly interrelated complementing one another. (Thomas 1994)The movie begins in a modern Tibet, where lama sees that his beloved (dead) teacher makes him signs meaning he is ready for reincarnation or re-birth.
Therefore lama has to ravel and he finds three possible candidates for reincarnation. The element of reincarnation is thus incorporated in the image of the boy. The whole movie is about the search for reincarnation as it is important element of Buddhist beliefs, however only the chosen have the right to be reincarnated, because the cessation of life appears not be sufficient condition. It is revealed that three children are reincarnations as they represent the mind as well as body and speech of Lama.
(Thomas 1994)Impermanence according to the film is an infinite power illustrated in the scene of the funeral. It means that death is only a temporary state of the soul and it will return again and again meaning it will reincarnate. Therefore impermanence softens the powerful and compelling finality of death. The film teaches that change is central feature of human life.
Nothing is permanent in the world, though changes can be either exhilarating or frightening and relieving. Impermanence in the film faces both resistance and happiness.Enlightenment is also seen throughout the film, as the whole journey aims at attaining enlightenment being the highest state of mind as it is able to reveal the truth about the eternal questions of life and death. Demons are afraid of it as it means their death is approaching and they made their best to prevent it, though good always wins.
It is seen that the film aims at educating Americans about Buddhist religion providing the core beliefs and ideas such as reincarnation, enlightenment and impermanence being the base of the Buddha teachings. (Thomas 1994)Works CitedKlinghoffer, David. Little Buddhas: ‘Tibetan Buddhism’. National Review, 50, 11, (1998): 44-48.
Thomas, J. (Producer) & Bertolucci, B. (Director). Little Buddha (Film).
Burbank, CA: Buena Vista Home Video, 1994.
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