Jamyang Lodro

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Milarepa Review


Good
One tonic for a stressful day: Spend 90 minutes with an 11th-century Tibetan mystic who wanders through gorgeous Himalayan scenery. Milarepa is one of Tibet's most revered saints, the only monk to achieve full Buddha status on one lifetime, and his biography, a story of murder, remorse, and enlightenment, is known by every Tibetan. Milarepa, the first of what are scheduled to be two films telling his life story, covers the murder and remorse parts economically and effectively.

Born into relative wealth (the best tent in the village), Milarepa (Jamyang Lodro) and his mother suffer terribly when his beloved father dies and greedy relatives steal the family's wealth, leaving the young boy with no inheritance. By the time he's a teen, he's living in despair, helping his mother scratch a small barley harvest out of a useless field. Meanwhile, his gambling uncle has squandered all the money, his evil aunt is adorned in jewels that belong to him, and none of the other villagers choose to come to their aid.

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The Cup Review


OK
A lighthearted look at the modern monk. Apparently it's not all prayers and sand drawings -- real monks love soccer. The cup in question is the World Cup, and the movie (inspired by true events) traces the chaos that two young upstart lamas bring to a monastery when they expose it to the game of football. Ponderous yet utterly harmless, The Cup is ultimately a cute little diversion.

Continue reading: The Cup Review

The Cup Review


Good

A movie of pure enjoyment, peppered with ever-so-slight political undertones, "The Cup" was written and directed by a Buddhist lama and tells the story of a monastery school in the grips of World Cup fever.

Based on real events, Bhutanese monk Khyentse Norbu used members of his own monastery as actors in portraying this lighter side of monastic life, in which one soccer-obsessed boy (Jamyang Lodro) turns watching the World Cup finale into a cause célebre among his cloister's monks-in-training.

A modest and surprisingly skilled effort, Norbu (who was bitten by the filmmaking bug while serving as a consultant on Bernardo Bertolucci's "Little Buddha") has a remarkable eye for cinematic beauty and crafty detail, and he brings a graceful sense of humanity and humor to the kind of characters usually portrayed on film as serious and serene.

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