Down 971 this week

Wheel of Time (2003)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary  |  30 October 2003 (Germany)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,481 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 15 user | 26 critic | 8 from

Wheel of Time is Werner Herzog's photographed look at the largest Buddhist ritual in Bodh Gaya, India.



0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 18 Apr 2011
a list of 26 titles
created 02 Dec 2011
a list of 34 titles
created 28 Jun 2012
a list of 28 titles
created 06 Jul 2012
list image
a list of 40 titles
created 28 Nov 2013

Related Items

Search for "Wheel of Time" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Wheel of Time (2003)

Wheel of Time (2003) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Wheel of Time.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

This film shows the disaster of the Kuwaitian oil fields in flames, with few interviews and no explanatory narration. Hell itself is presented in such beautiful sights and music that one has to be fascinated by it.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog
Herdsmen of the Sun (TV Short 1989)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Herzog's documentary of the Wodaabe people of the Sahara/Sahel region. Particular attention is given to the tribe's spectacular courtship rituals and 'beauty pageants', where eligible young... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Inspired by a true crime, a man begins to experience mystifying events that lead him to slay his mother with a sword.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Michael Shannon, Willem Dafoe, Chloë Sevigny
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Two famous competitive climbers make a bet on who can climb Cerro Torre, one of the most dangerous mountains in Argentina and the world, first. As the day of the climb approaches, their increasing competitiveness becomes destructive.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Vittorio Mezzogiorno, Mathilda May, Stefan Glowacz
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The geologist Lance Hackett is employed by an Australian mining company to map the subsoil of a desert area covered with ant hills prior to a possible uranium extraction. His work is ... See full summary »

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Bruce Spence, Wandjuk Marika, Roy Marika
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Works, legend and murders of Carlo Gesualdo, a notorious Italian composer and murderer from 16th century.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Pasquale D'Onofrio, Salvatore Catorano, Angelo Carrabs
Grizzly Man (2005)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A devastating and heartrending take on grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzlies in Alaska.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Timothy Treadwell, Amie Huguenard, Werner Herzog
Documentary | Biography | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A study of the psychology of a champion ski-jumper, whose full-time occupation is carpentry.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Walter Steiner, Werner Herzog
Giovanna d'Arco (TV Movie 1989)
Drama | War | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Directors: Keith Cheetham, Werner Herzog
Stars: Renato Bruson, Susan Dunn, Vincenzo La Scola
Wings of Hope (TV Movie 2000)
Documentary | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Werner Herzog returns to the South American jungle with Juliane Koepcke, the German woman who was the sole survivor of a plane crash there in 1971. They find the remains of the plane and recreate her journey out of the jungle.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog, Juliane Koepcke, Juan Zaplana Ramirez
La Bohème II (2009)
Documentary | Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Part of a series of opera shorts by different directors. Herzog combines O Soave Fanciulla ("Oh you vision of beauty" from Puccini's La Boheme) with images of harsh life in Africa.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Peter Auty, Mary Plazas
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Ernst Reijseger


Credited cast:
Lama Lhundup Woeser ...
Takna Jigme Sangpo ...
Matthieu Ricard ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Madhureeta Anand ...
Tenzin Dhargye ...
Ven. Geshe ...
Himself (voice)
Manfred Klell ...
Chungdak D. Koren ...
Thupten Tsering Mukhimsar ...


Wheel of Time is Werner Herzog's photographed look at the largest Buddhist ritual in Bodh Gaya, India.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

buddhist | See All (1) »




Not Rated | See all certifications »



| |


| |

Release Date:

30 October 2003 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Ajan pyörä  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Dalai Lama: All religions carry same message. Message of love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment, self-discipline. I think we need these qualities, irrespective of whether we are believer or non-believer, because these are the source of a happy life.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

13 May 2011 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

In his film My Son, My Son, his protagonist taunts a student meditating on a rock facing a river, telling him to open his eyes, that reality is out there. I was cautious of this, Herzog's encounter not with a simple madness but with an ancient, complex, beautiful point of view, but cautiously optimistic, curious.

We know that Herzog seeks truths in the extremities of life, in the madness that inhabits them. He often guides these subjects to be what he wants them to be, which is his personal reflection that we may find a more eloquent, resilient truth in what deviates rather than what abides, but his visual meditations are tried and true. True enough that Malick, a trobadour himself, has taken from them.

But is he merely a tourist in this, the Kalachakra initiation, a mock- devout Westerner with a camera strapped around his neck approaching sacred ground with comical trepidation, or does he come in earnest, perhaps to learn?

He shows us the pilgrims travelling the thousands of miles to Bodh Gaya on foot, stopping every couple of steps on this journey that takes as much as three years for one of them, to prostrate themselves on the ground. He says nothing of this but there's no doubt in my mind on why he handpicks them among the crowds. They have a good story of spiritual struggle to tell, perhaps itself a form of holy madness. Elsewhere his camera prowls through a crowd of monks, in the end selectively settling upon the most mysterious face he could find.

There's one moment however in his meeting with the H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama that brilliantly reveals the chasm between these two worlds. Asked about it, the Dalai Lama explains to him what he believes to be the center of the universe, inside of each one of us, doing this with the goodhearted laugh that characterizes him. Mistaking this radiance of equanimity and happiness for an attempt at humour, Herzog quips back that he shouldn't tell his wife about this. The moment follows an awkward pause of silence and a dumbfounded look by the DL.

The above incident, which may reflect badly on him from a formal point but still reflects something, he chose to keep on the film as both a way of undercutting a solemnity he perhaps sees as banal and of showing how far the two cultures are. Herzog may be a stranger here but he's still a talented filmmaker.

And more. The uproar of the pilgrims, how they prepare food and tea for the monks, how they crowd for a good view of the Dalai Lama, he contrasts with the booming silence inside the sanctum, punctured repetitively by the sounds of monks at work on the great sand mandala, the representation of the cosmos.

This is one of the beautiful contrasts of the film. How the superstition of the peasants, who clamor for a crumble of a sacred dumpling thought to be a blessing, with the complex philosophical discussions on concepts of emptiness held openly among the monks elsewhere.

What do the simple folks who came down for this from Nepal understand of shunyata? What do we, in turn, understand of the spiritual importance of performing 100,000 asanas, sun salutations? And what does the Dalai Lama understand of the superstitions he practices in the ceremony, of dropping sticks to see where they may land as pointing into a direction?

Nevertheless, even a man of his own ideas like Herzog leaves this with newfound wisdom, with the potential to enrich us in turn. We get three unforgettable images in the end, all meditatios I will keep inside of me.

How the great sand mandala upon which the Tibetan monks worked tirelessly day and night is eventually destroyed, a palpable reminder of how all things come to pass. The different colored sands brushed aside blend together into abstract shape without pattern or meaning now, to be poured then into the river where after a time they will perhaps wash out in some distant shore.

In Graz, Austria, a security man stands guard in an almost empty hall, guarding nothing from nothing. The self, a barrier to our awareness.

And back again in Bodh Gaya, the ceremony now over, we see the hundreds of thousands of empty pillows left over by the pilgrims lining the floor. In the middle of this emptiness kneels alone one last monk, lost in meditation.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
difficult to approach for non-religious viewers g-moff
Why are they wearing surgical masks? Risselada
Wheel of Time + Grizzly Man Phantomg6
Westernized Dalai Lama? jtaboada
Soundtrack jonnypanic2000
Discuss Wheel of Time (2003) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page