Monday's Media Review
I’m not sure how we missed this treasure when it was released in 1997. Granted, it is the sort of film which somehow stays a bit under the radar; even so, it did receive four Oscar nominations (cinematography (by Roger Deakins), music (by Philip Glass), costumes and art direction).
This is a beautiful biopic covering the period in the life of the Dalai Lama from 1933, through the Chinese invasion of Tibet, and ending with his flight into India. Even if you're not all that acquainted with Buddhism, you will be impressed with the way the film manages to capture the mystical essence of Tibetan Buddhism.
Kundun was filmed with a cast of unknowns in Morocco after film crews were forbidden to enter Tibet. However, the cast of “non-actor” Tibetan actors, some of whom are related to the Dalai Lama, lend the film a gritty, honest feeling which somehow complements the austere Himalayan landscapes.
Wonderful cinematography and a broodingly brilliant score by Philip Glass combine to give this film a transcendent beauty.
It may take a bit of extra effort to find Kundun, but it will be time well spent . . there are moments in this film that will stay with you for years.
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