7.0/10
22,550
117 user 86 critic

Kundun (1997)

From childhood to adulthood, Tibet's fourteenth Dalai Lama deals with Chinese oppression and other problems.

Director:

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Haunted by the patients he failed to save, an extremely burned-out Manhattan ambulance paramedic fights to maintain his sanity over three fraught and turbulent nights.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, John Goodman
Drama | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An egotistical saxophonist and a young singer meet on V-J Day and embark upon a strained and rocky romance, even as their careers begin a long, up-hill climb.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Liza Minnelli, Robert De Niro, Lionel Stander
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The life of Jesus Christ, his journey through life as he faces the struggles all humans do, and his final temptation on the cross.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Barbara Hershey
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A tale of nineteenth-century New York high society in which a young lawyer falls in love with a woman separated from her husband, while he is engaged to the woman's cousin.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder
Boxcar Bertha (1972)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

During the depression, a union leader and a young woman become criminals to exact revenge on the management of a railroad.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Barbara Hershey, David Carradine, Barry Primus
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A recently widowed woman is on the road with her precocious young son, determined to make a new life for herself as a singer.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Kris Kristofferson, Mia Bendixsen
After Hours (1985)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An ordinary word processor has the worst night of his life after he agrees to visit a girl in Soho whom he met that evening at a coffee shop.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Verna Bloom
I Call First (1967)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young man struggles with the fact that his girlfriend was once raped.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Harvey Keitel, Zina Bethune, Anne Collette
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Fast Eddie Felson teaches a cocky but immensely talented protégé the ropes of pool hustling, which in turn inspires him to make an unlikely comeback.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Aspiring comic Rupert Pupkin attempts to achieve success in show business by stalking his idol, a late night talk-show host who craves his own privacy.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahnne Abbott
Mean Streets (1973)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A small-time hood aspires to work his way up the ranks of a local mob.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval
Cape Fear (1991)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Tenzin Yeshi Paichang ...
Tencho Gyalpo ...
Tenzin Topjar ...
Lobsang (5-10)
Tsewang Migyur Khangsar ...
Tenzin Lodoe ...
Geshi Yeshi Gyatso ...
Losang Gyatso ...
The Messenger (as Lobsang Gyatso)
Sonam Phuntsok ...
Reting Rinpoche
Gyatso Lukhang ...
Lobsang Samten ...
Jigme Tsarong ...
Taktra Rimpoche (as Tsewang Jigme Tsarong)
Tenzin Trinley ...
Edit

Storyline

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 Deki

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The destiny of a people lies in the heart of a boy. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

16 January 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Кундун  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$72,095 (USA) (26 December 1997)

Gross:

$5,532,301 (USA) (27 March 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Martin Scorsese dedicated this film to his mother Catherine Scorsese who had died during the pre-production of this film, because "the Dalai Lama represents unconditional love, and to me my mother was the closest person with that kind of love". See more »

Goofs

When Kundun is dreaming that he is surrounded by monks slaughtered by the Chinese, the "dead" monk closest to him moves his eyelids. See more »

Quotes

Dalai Lama: I see a safe journey, I see a safe return.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Touchstone Pictures logo shown after the end credits is red. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Martin Scorsese (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An exceptional film which refuses to compromise its artistic values
14 January 1999 | by (Baltimore, Marylan) – See all my reviews

"Kundun" is one of those rare masterpieces that unfortunately might be run over by more Hollywood acceptable films like "Titanic" and "Seven Years in Tibet" (both films that I still admire). While these films were great, their primary purpose seemed to be entertainment alone. Scorsese creates a work out of the bounds of traditional films; "Kundun" is at once a spiritual journey, a compelling story despite its downplayed action, and a delight for the eyes and ears. It is both entertainment and art. The audience isn't captivated by dramatic action, but simply because it is so beautiful. At the same time, it doesn't produce the slightly sleepy sensation other artistic works like "The Last Emperor of China" can, despite their beauty (I personally loved "Last Emperor"). Not once was I tempted to turn away from the screen.

Scorsese mixes symbolic images and a subtle yet emotionally stirring soundtrack into a non-traditional plot structure, creating an exotic and spiritual vision meeting the demands of its eastern inspiration.

I am not a historian, so I cannot speak about its accuracy, though from what I can tell, Scorsese did his homework. Even if that were not true, this film is not meant as a documentary. It has the same emotional power of the finest art, with a simplicity and directness which keeps it from being pretentious. If you add to this historical accuracy, all the better. But it is not meant to influence via facts but via emotion.

Even those viewers who don't normally sit through credits will most likely do so, simply for the chance to let the film soak in. You need the time to digest everything you've been shown and to sit in contemplative peace. This is a film that inspires and delights. It is the film I wish I could have created. Scorsese has certainly produced the best film of the year, if not more.


39 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?