March 4, 2009

An Attempt at a Comprehensive List of Films about Buddhism.

Photo by Danny Fisher.

Though comprehensiveness was not one of my stated goals when I offered the “Five Great Films about Buddhism” post a couple of days ago, a reader nonetheless commented that I had “missed a tremendous number” of titles.  This reminded me that I had attempted a comprehensive list last year at my blog.  Though I certainly cannot claim that this actually is a comprehensive list of films explicitly about Buddhism, it’s the best I can do with the resources for research at my disposal.  Reader additions/suggestions are most welcome.

And just so we’re clear:  What follows is a list is of all the significant narrative films and documentaries I can find that are specifically about Buddhism. This does not include films like The Matrix or Groundhog Day, which could be considered Buddish, but are not explicitly about Buddhism.

[One note: Like the IMDb, I have tended to use titles in the language of the country in which it was originally released. Thus, The Cup is listed as Phörpa; Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring as Bom Yeoreum Gaeul Gyeoul Geurigo Bom; Enlightenment Guaranteed as Erleuchtung Garantiert; and so on.]
  • À La Recherche de Kundun avec Martin Scorsese
  • Aje Aje Bara Aje
  • Amongst White Clouds: Buddhist Hermit Masters of China’s Zhongnan Mountains
  • Angulimala
  • Angry Monk: Reflections on Tibet
  • Asoka
  • Bom Yeoreum Gaeul Gyeoul Geurigo Bom
  • Buddha’s Lost Children
  • Buddha Wild: The Monk in a Hut
  • Calling of the Dragon
  • Compassion and Wisdom: A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life
  • Compassion In Exile: The Story of the 14th Dalai Lama
  • Crazy Wisdom: The Life & Times of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
  • Dalai Lama Renaissance
  • Dalmaya Nolja
  • Dao Ma Zei
  • Destroyer of Illusion: The Secret World of a Tibetan Lama
  • The Dhamma Brothers
  • Dharma River
  • Dharmaga Tongjoguro Kan Kkadalgun
  • Doing Time, Doing Vipassana
  • Dong Seung
  • Dreaming Lhasa
  • Erleuchtung Garantiert
  • Fearless Mountain
  • Himalaya – L’enfance D’un Chef
  • How to Cook Your Life
  • Hwaomkyung
  • Ice and Water
  • The Knowledge of Healing
  • Kundun
  • The Lion’s Roar
  • Little Buddha
  • Marga
  • Mandala
  • Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei
  • Meditate and Destroy
  • Milarepa
  • Mountains and Rivers
  • Now I Know You: A Tribute to Taizan Maezumi Roshi
  • Oseam
  • Ososhiki
  • Peace Is Every Step: Meditation In Action: The Life and Work of Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Phörpa
  • Prajna Earth
  • Sacred Wildness: The Teachings of Rocks and Water
  • Samsara (2001)
  • Samsara (2009)
  • Sansani Buseojin Ileumiyeo
  • Satya: A Prayer for the Enemy
  • Seven Years in Tibet
  • Siddhartha
  • Shinran Shonin – The Light of the World
  • 10 Questions for the Dalai Lama
  • Tibet: A Buddhist Trilogy
  • Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion
  • The Tibetan Book of the Dead (A Way of Life / The Great Liberation)
  • Travellers and Magicians
  • Vajra Sky Over Tibet
  • Watching the Rock Grow: History of Zen Mountain Monastery
  • Water Buddhas
  • The Water Way
  • Wheel of Time
  • Windhorse
  • Words of My Perfect Teacher
  • Xia Nu
  • Zen Buddhism: In Search of Self
  • A Zen Life-D.T. Suzuki
  • The Zen Mind
  • Zen Noir
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