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Little Buddha (1993)

PG | | Drama | 25 May 1994 (USA)
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1:57 | Trailer

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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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2,850 ( 1,753)
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 | 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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Details

Country:

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

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film is dedicated to Francis Bouygues, a French industrialist who was to produce this film before he died in 1993. 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 »

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User Reviews

 
A very thoughtful movie, if you give it a chance.
23 December 2004 | by kayesterSee all my reviews

Bertolucci is a director who doesn't keep making the same movie.

Little Buddha has much about it that can be praised. It shows much, tells some, and demands of the viewer some thought. This is not something always appreciated by the viewer. The key to understanding this movie, I believe, is not the search for the reincarnation of an important Buddhist teacher, nor is it the life of the Buddha up to the time he achieves enlightenment, but the way a child, or children, and an old man, come to understand together something of the connections that may exist between themselves. We don't see through a character's eyes, we watch the effects of the characters on each other. In particular, Jesse, the 9 year old American who may or may not be the reincarnation, holds our attention because we watch him absorb the lessons that are being taught, and as he learns them, he grows in ways we can expect a 9 year old to grow. We also watch his father, whose character becomes more sympathetic as the movie progresses, who has even further to grow than his son, because he has already learned too much.

The movie is also beautiful to watch. The cinematography, the editing and the direction combine to provide just the right dramatic tension to a movie whose pacing is deceptive, in that it seems slow, but is not. The ultimate result is that a viewer who allows it, will find him or herself transported for a little while, to unexpected places.


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