A documentary on the history of Buddha which combines archaeological discoveries with oral testimonies
Director: Martin Meissonnier – (90’)
It is two thousand five hundred and forty-four years since the Buddha Sakhyamuni departed this world, having attained Nirvana, the highest level of enlightenment. Although over half of humanity has been influenced by Buddha's ideas, his life-story has been interpreted in various ways.
Our knowledge of Buddha stems mainly from the Tibetan exegetical tradition. But the facts of his life are less wellknown and their significance has often been distorted by the religious establishment.
Rather than taking a hagiographical approach, this documentary attempts to find out who Buddha really was. He emerges as a visionary who attempted to shatter the caste system in which India is still imprisoned, forbade his followers to make representations of him (the earliest image of Buddha dates from seven centuries after his death), and invented the law of cause and effect, whose relevance scientists have recently rediscovered.
The Life of Buddha sets out to re-examine the life and doctrines of Buddha in the places where he himself lived. His founding texts are explained by lay Buddhists - peasants, children and wise men - and by monks, in the very places where Buddha lived and taught 2,500 years ago. Bonus: Beyond the film, 50 minutes of interview about: A few fundamental notions by the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddha and Brahmanism, Lotus Sutra, Bodh Gaya, The representation of the Buddha, Architecture at the time of the Buddha, The Stupas, The University of Nalanda. Colour. French, English, German. 140 mins.
Price includes educational license.
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