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Little Buddha (1993)

 -  Drama  -  25 May 1994 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 10,954 users  
Reviews: 72 user | 28 critic

Lama Norbu comes to Seattle in search of the reincarnation of his dead teacher, Lama Dorje. His search leads him to young Jesse Conrad, Raju, a waif from Kathmandu, and an upper class ... See full summary »

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(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Little Buddha (1993)

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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ruocheng Ying ...
Lama Norbu (as Ying Ruocheng)
...
Alex Wiesendanger ...
Jesse Conrad
Raju Lal ...
Raju
Greishma Makar Singh ...
Gita
Sogyal Rinpoche ...
Kenpo Tenzin
Ven. Khyongla Rato Rinpoche ...
Abbot
...
Lisa Conrad
Ven. Geshe Tsultim Gyelsen ...
Lama Dorje
...
Maria
Jigme Kunsang ...
Champa
Thubtem Jampa ...
Punzo
Surekha Sikri ...
Sonali (as Surehka Sikri)
T.K. Lama ...
Sangay
Edit

Storyline

Lama Norbu comes to Seattle in search of the reincarnation of his dead teacher, Lama Dorje. His search leads him to young Jesse Conrad, Raju, a waif from Kathmandu, and an upper class Indian girl. Together, they journey to Bhutan where the three children must undergo a test to prove which is the true reincarnation. Interspersed with this, is the story of Siddharta, later known as the Buddha. It traces his spiritual journey from ignorance to true enlightenment. Written by Samantha Santa Maria <TE7441667@ntuvax.ntu.ac.sg>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A magical journey to a place where the past and the present meet.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

Release Date:

25 May 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lille Buddha  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$4,858,139 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the scene in the forest with the ascetics where Siddartha becomes emaciated from lack of food, Keanu Reeves went on a crash diet of oranges and water. See more »

Goofs

When Raju is playing with the Game Boy you can hear music from Tetris, but it's actually not turned on at all. See more »

Quotes

Lama Norbu: [Narrating] One day Siddhartha heard an old musician on a passing boat speaking to his people.
Old Musician: If you tighten the string too much it will snap and if you leave it too slack, it won't play.
Lama Norbu: [continues narrating] Suddenly, Siddhartha realized that these simple words held the great truth, and that in all these years he had been following the wrong path.
See more »

Crazy Credits

(Opening disclaimer) This film is inspired by the true life stories of several children and their extraordinary voyage of discovery. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood vs. Religion (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A very thoughtful movie, if you give it a chance.
23 December 2004 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

Bertolucci is a director who doesn't keep making the same movie.

Little Buddha has much about it that can be praised. It shows much, tells some, and demands of the viewer some thought. This is not something always appreciated by the viewer. The key to understanding this movie, I believe, is not the search for the reincarnation of an important Buddhist teacher, nor is it the life of the Buddha up to the time he achieves enlightenment, but the way a child, or children, and an old man, come to understand together something of the connections that may exist between themselves. We don't see through a character's eyes, we watch the effects of the characters on each other. In particular, Jesse, the 9 year old American who may or may not be the reincarnation, holds our attention because we watch him absorb the lessons that are being taught, and as he learns them, he grows in ways we can expect a 9 year old to grow. We also watch his father, whose character becomes more sympathetic as the movie progresses, who has even further to grow than his son, because he has already learned too much.

The movie is also beautiful to watch. The cinematography, the editing and the direction combine to provide just the right dramatic tension to a movie whose pacing is deceptive, in that it seems slow, but is not. The ultimate result is that a viewer who allows it, will find him or herself transported for a little while, to unexpected places.


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