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Little Buddha (1993)

PG | | Drama | 25 May 1994 (USA)
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After the death of Lama Dorje, Tibetan Buddhist monks find three boys - two Nepalese and one American - who may be the rebirth of their great teacher.

Writers:

Bernardo Bertolucci (story), Rudy Wurlitzer (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
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

For the scene in the forest with the ascetics, where Siddartha becomes emaciated from lack of food, Keanu Reeves went on a crash diet of oranges and water. 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

 
Simplistic, but not bad and educationally useful.
8 January 2000 | by les-35See all my reviews

Simplistic, and of more value to young people than serious adults, but a more "realistic" dramatization of the subject might be too subtle for many viewers. This is perhaps the only movie I know of that deals directly with Buddhism from a western point of view, as opposed to Asian movies like those of Kurosawa, or such recent films as "Seven Years in Tibet" which deal more with the political and social aspects of Tibetan culture rather than Buddhism itself. Because Buddhism is drawing increasing interest in the West, a dramatization of the classic story of the Buddha is useful and entertaining. As a high school teacher, I have seriously recommended this film to students a number of times. The movie is well filmed, and, besides the traditional story of the Buddha,in its ancient Indian setting and with all of the mythical elements, it does gives insight into Tibetan culture, and can be linked to "Kundun" and "Seven Years in Tibet" which are excellent, sympathetic films about this Asian country that has received so much undeserved harassment.


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