After the death of Lama Dorje, Tibetan Buddhist monks find three children - one American and two Nepalese - who may be the rebirth of their great teacher.

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 ... Lama Norbu (as Ying Ruocheng)
Chris Isaak ... Dean Conrad
Alex Wiesendanger ... Jesse Conrad
Raju Lal ... Raju
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 ... Champa
Thubtem Jampa Thubtem Jampa ... Punzo
Surekha Sikri ... Sonali
T.K. Lama T.K. Lama ... Sangay
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Storyline

A Buddhist monk, Lama Norbu (Ying Ruocheng), believes that a 10-year-old American boy, Jesse (Alex Wiesendanger), is the reincarnation of his spiritual teacher, Lama Dorje. Jesse's father, Dean (Chris Isaak), and mother, Lisa (Bridget Fonda), are dubious, but following his business partner's suicide, a transformed Dean relents and allows his son to travel to Bhutan. However, there are two other children who the monk thinks may also be the reincarnation of Lama Dorje. Written by yusufpiskin

Plot Summary | Add 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film in director Bernardo Bertolucci's "oriental trilogy", following The Last Emperor (1987) and The Sheltering Sky (1990). See more »

Goofs

When Raju is playing with the Game Boy you can hear music from Tetris, but it's actually not turned on at all. 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...
[...]
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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 »

User Reviews

Nothing wrong with slow.
10 January 1999 | by wcbSee all my reviews

I certainly disagree with the commentary that calls this movie plotless. I agree that it's slow, but what's wrong with slow? Roger Ebert put the movie down by calling it 'Buddhist Sunday School.' True, the Buddha parts are simplistic, but then so is the original Buddha story. Slow, thoughtful, peaceful, subtly stimulating, and with a plot to end all plots-- the one-ness of all individuality. I much prefer this to the more recent Kundun, which tries to tell essentially the same story. In fact, Scorsese rips this movie off dreadfully, even to the same wiping out of the sand pattern at the end.


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Details

Country:

France | Liechtenstein | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 May 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Little Buddha See more »

Filming Locations:

Nepal See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$873,983, 30 May 1994

Gross USA:

$4,858,139

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,858,139
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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