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Kundun (1997)

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

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Tenzin Yeshi Paichang ...
Dalai Lama (Aged 2)
Tencho Gyalpo ...
Mother
Tenzin Topjar ...
Lobsang (5-10)
Tsewang Migyur Khangsar ...
Father
Tenzin Lodoe ...
Takster
Geshi Yeshi Gyatso ...
Lama of Sera
Losang Gyatso ...
The Messenger (as Lobsang Gyatso)
Sonam Phuntsok ...
Reting Rinpoche
Gyatso Lukhang ...
Lord Chamberlain
Lobsang Samten ...
Master of the Kitchen
Jigme Tsarong ...
Taktra Rimpoche (as Tsewang Jigme Tsarong)
Tenzin Trinley ...
Ling Rimpoche
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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:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

16 January 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Кундун  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$72,095, 28 December 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,532,301, 29 March 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming in Tibet was not possible; Morocco was used instead. See more »

Goofs

Some of the Chinese soldiers with goggles that go marching by are obviously Caucasian. See more »

Quotes

Dalai Lama: The Buddhas neither wash ill deeds away with water, nor remove beings' sufferings with their hands, nor transfer their realizations to others.
Dalai Lama: Beings are released through the teachings of the truth. The final reality.
Dalai Lama: Thus, by the virtue that has collected, through all that I have done, may the pain of every living creature be completely cleared away.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Scene by Scene: Martin Scorsese (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another religious masterpiece from Scorsese
23 February 1999 | by See all my reviews

As "The Last Temptation of Christ" showed, Martin Scorsese is not a filmmaker interested in playing it safe when it comes to religion. Instead, he wants to get into the heart and soul of it. While that film was obviously closer to his heart, since he was raised Catholic, this one burns with the same conviction and passion. The difference is he and writer Melissa Mathison adjust themselves to the way of storytelling needed to tell the life of the Dalai Lama. Unlike say, "Little Buddha", though, where Bertolucci seemed to have no sense of distance from his subject, Scorsese does, so we are allowed to come to our own conclusions rather than having them shoved down our throats.

Visually and aurally, this is also a real treat, with the images being more powerful than anything Scorsese has done before. And while the music here is old territory for Philip Glass, he produces a stunning score which should have won the Oscar. The mostly non-professional cast(I did see a familiar face here and there, but I can't remember them) also does good work.


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