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Little Buddha (1993)

PG | | Drama | 25 May 1994 (USA)
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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 »

Writers:

Bernardo Bertolucci (story), Rudy Wurlitzer (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France | Liechtenstein | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 May 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lille Buddha See more »

Filming Locations:

Bhutan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$873,983, 27 May 1994, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,858,139
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Digital (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Eric Stoltz was considered for the role of Dean Conrad. See more »

Goofs

Early in the movie, when Kenpo and the 3 other Tibetan monks are driving north on the top level of WA-99 the movie cuts to a separate shot of the same group now traveling north on Interstate-5 and then again south on the lower level of the WA-99 viaduct. However, as the scene continues, the group ends up atop the Queen Anne neighborhood, which is a northern part of Seattle. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lama Norbu: Once upon a time, in a village in ancient India, there was a little goat and a priest. The priest wanted to sacrifice the goat to the gods. He raised him arm to cut the goat's throat, when suddenly the goat began to laugh. The priest stopped, amazed, and asked the goat, "why do you laugh? Don't you know I'm about to cut your throat?" "Oh yes," said the goat. "After 499 times dying and being reborn as a goat, I will be reborn as a human being." Then the little goat began to cry. The...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end of the credits, there is a shot of a hand wiping away the sand of the mandala. (Mandalas are brushed away at some point after completion to symbolize Impermanence, one of the tenets of Buddhism). See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Matrix (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Buddha like you never saw him before
16 August 2002 | by GJL CologneMovieSee all my reviews

There can be no doubt that Bertolucci made a beautiful and very stylistic portrayal of Siddartha (yes, Keanu does and looks very well in this part). There can be doubt though if these mystical and captivating scenes that play in the ancient (not necessarily historical!) India and the Far Orient are succesfully intermingled with the present day search for a reincarnated soul. I have seen the film several times and I am still not sure. Would this film have been better if it had only focused on the life and times of Siddartha / Buddha? Or would this just have made the film look "easier"? Present and past, reality and legend, magical scenery and modern city life continuously interchange. Each time the film shifted from Siddartha's "world" to Seattle I felt a little sorry. I wanted more and more of these silent, magic world. Bertolucci keeps us awake by going the other way. The things Siddartha learned can be applied, by us, the viewers, in what happens next. Let's just say Bertolucci's choice for dialectic film making was the right one. Final remark: the video / DVD cover is absolutely ridiculous. Surely the film company also wanted to attract young female Keanu fans by portraying him in a slightly romantic, counteropposing posture to Bridget Fonda. The two never meet in the film at all!


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