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Kundun (1997)

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From childhood to adulthood, Tibet's fourteenth Dalai Lama deals with Chinese oppression and other problems.

Director:

Martin Scorsese
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tenzin Thuthob Tsarong ... Dalai Lama (Adult)
Gyurme Tethong ... Dalai Lama (Age 12)
Tulku Jamyang Kunga Tenzin ... Dalai Lama (Age 5)
Tenzin Yeshi Paichang Tenzin Yeshi Paichang ... Dalai Lama (Aged 2)
Tencho Gyalpo Tencho Gyalpo ... Mother
Tenzin Topjar Tenzin Topjar ... Lobsang (5-10)
Tsewang Migyur Khangsar Tsewang Migyur Khangsar ... Father
Tenzin Lodoe Tenzin Lodoe ... Takster
Geshi Yeshi Gyatso Geshi Yeshi Gyatso ... Lama of Sera
Losang Gyatso Losang Gyatso ... The Messenger (as Lobsang Gyatso)
Sonam Phuntsok Sonam Phuntsok ... Reting Rinpoche
Gyatso Lukhang Gyatso Lukhang ... Lord Chamberlain
Lobsang Samten Lobsang Samten ... Master of the Kitchen
Jigme Tsarong Jigme Tsarong ... Taktra Rimpoche (as Tsewang Jigme Tsarong)
Tenzin Trinley Tenzin Trinley ... Ling Rimpoche
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Storyline

The Tibetans refer to the Dalai Lama as 'Kundun', which means 'The Presence'. He was forced to escape from his native home, Tibet, when communist China invaded and enforced an oppressive regime upon the peaceful nation of Tibet. The Dalai Lama escaped to India in 1959 and has been living in exile in Dharamsala ever since. Written by Deki

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The amazing story of the fourteenth Dalai Lama. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Monaco | Morocco

Language:

English | Tibetan | Mandarin

Release Date:

16 January 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kundun See more »

Filming Locations:

Ait Benhaddou, Morocco See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$72,095, 28 December 1997

Gross USA:

$5,684,789

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,684,789
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The 14th Dalai Lama took his position as the head of Tibet on 17th November 1950. On this day director Martin Scorcsese was celebrating his Eighth Birthday. On this day Kundun assumed full temporal (political) power after China's invasion of Tibet in 1949 (Iron-Tiger Year, 10th month, 11th day) See more »

Goofs

When the young boy is first being tested, he is presented with several pairs of objects to choose between. When it comes to choosing between two bowls, he picks up the bowl on the right and examines it. When he places the bowl back on the table, he has the bowl on the left in his hand. See more »

Quotes

Dalai Lama: I see a safe journey, I see a safe return.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Touchstone Pictures logo shown after the end credits is red. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.22 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Beautiful and eye-opening...
4 January 2004 | by ford.226See all my reviews

Kundun was beautifully done, adding true portrayals of the practices of the Tibetan Buddhists - their chants, artwork, dances and costumes. Also, Philip Glass did a wonderful job with the soundtrack- combining the sound of damarus, ghantas, conch-shells and mantras with his own unique sound. Unlike Seven Years in Tibet, Kundun concentrates on the plight of Tibet through the life of the Dalai Lama. This perspective allows for the audience to realize the ideals and morals that define the people of Tibet, through the eyes and life experiences of their own chosen leader. Focusing on a character other than the Dalai Lama allows for too many distractions within the plot of the movie, especially when the script for Kundun was taken from a biography of His Holiness. This film employs most of the senses in order to allow the audience a fuller understanding of the Dalai Lama, his people, and their struggle against the Chinese. Kundun may be lengthy, but it is well worth the time.


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