The Tibetans refer to the Dalai Lama as 'Kundun', which means 'The Presence'. He was forced to escape from his native home, Tibet, when communist China invaded and enforced an oppressive regime upon the peaceful nation of Tibet. The Dalai Lama escaped to India in 1959 and has been living in exile in Dharamsala ever since. Written by
The The Dalai Lama and his family were portrayed by actual relatives of the Dalai Lama himself, now living in refugee in Dalamsala as well as abroad. Tenzin Thuthob Tsarong who played the adult Dalai Lama is his grand nephew. See more »
For narrative purposes, the timeline is compressed. The Chinese invasion occurred in 1950; the Dalai Lama visited Chairman Mao in Beijing in 1954; and he ultimately fled Tibet in 1959. See more »
Are you the Lord Buddha?
I believe I am a reflection, like the moon on water. When you see me, and I try to be a good man, you see yourself.
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The Touchstone Pictures logo shown after the end credits is red. See more »
I rented Kundun to further my quest to see all the Scorsese movies I can. I never expected such an incredible movie. I didn't want this movie to end. It's really difficult to describe how I feel about this movie since I have only viewed it once and was completely blown away, it left me in complete awe.
Like most when I first started watching Scorsese I thought that he did brilliant gangster films and that was his thing, but I have recently discovered that this couldn't be further from the truth. Fist seeing The Last Temptation of Christ and now Kundun I wouldn't care if Scorsese ever made another gangster film. It is easy to see that he is an artistic genius, the acting in the film was great, but I could have watched it on mute and still have been amazed.
If, like I was, you are unfamiliar with the Buddhist religion and the Chinese takeover of Tibet this film has even more to offer. Scorsese's risk of using real Buddhists to do all of the acting payed off better than I ever expected it would, the fact that we are hearing the story through the people it affected adds another level to this movie.
I cannot believe that this film only has a rating of 7 on this site. If you are a fan of Scorsese and are not sure you are going to like this just give it a chance, it deserves at least one viewing, if you give it that I am sure you will be amazed as I was. Scorsese's vision's in this movie are unlike any of his films, not to mention a great score by Phillip Glass.
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