Kundun

Kundun

Kundun

Martin Scorsese directs this biographical epic, nominated for four Oscars, based on the life and writings of the 14th Dalai Lama.

In 1937, in a remote area of Tibet close to the Chinese border, a a two-year-old child is identified as the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, the compassionate Buddha. Two years later, the child is brought to Lhasa where he is schooled as a monk and as head of state amidst the colour and pageantry of Tibetan culture. The film follows him into adulthood: when he is 14, the Chinese invade Tibet and he is forced into a shaky coalition government; he travels to China to meet with a cynical Mao; and, finally, in 1959, ill and under siege, he flees to India. Throughout, he has visions of his people's slaughter under Chinese rule.

1997Rating: PG, Mild violence and themes134 minsUSA, MonacoEnglish, Tibetan and Mandarin with English subtitles
DramaTrue Story & BiographyWarHistorical
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Reviews & comments

Variety

Variety

press

Disregarding commercial considerations, Scorsese's haunting meditation on Dalai Lama's early life is a majestic spectacle of images and sounds, but it's bogged down by a routine script that fails to offer fresh insights on Tibet's non-violent culture.

0
Total Film

Total Film

press

An artful diversion, with breathtaking visual splendour, but marred by messy, episodic narrative. Whether it leaves you soothed and serene or bored blind, you'll still be yearning for the return of the mean-streets maestro.

3.0
0
Time Out

Time Out

press

Urged on by Philip Glass's throbbing, blaring score, the director conjures a phenomenal, trance-like climax, owing more to dreams, second sight and the mind's eye than conventional dramatic rhetoric.

0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

With this film, composed of dazzling, beautifully framed imagery, billowing waves of music and few words, Martin Scorsese has come the closest he ever has to making a work of pure cinema.

0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

I admire "Kundun" for being so unreservedly committed to its vision, for being willing to cut loose from audience expectations and follow its heart ... And yet this is the first Scorsese film that, to be honest, I would not want to see again and again.

0
Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

press

Kundun is at once spectacular and inert - a mosaic impersonating a movie.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

The net result is difficult and demanding viewing yet strangely thrilling.

4.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

Disregarding commercial considerations, Scorsese's haunting meditation on Dalai Lama's early life is a majestic spectacle of images and sounds, but it's bogged down by a routine script that fails to offer fresh insights on Tibet's non-violent culture.

0
Total Film

Total Film

press

An artful diversion, with breathtaking visual splendour, but marred by messy, episodic narrative. Whether it leaves you soothed and serene or bored blind, you'll still be yearning for the return of the mean-streets maestro.

3.0
0
Time Out

Time Out

press

Urged on by Philip Glass's throbbing, blaring score, the director conjures a phenomenal, trance-like climax, owing more to dreams, second sight and the mind's eye than conventional dramatic rhetoric.

0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

With this film, composed of dazzling, beautifully framed imagery, billowing waves of music and few words, Martin Scorsese has come the closest he ever has to making a work of pure cinema.

0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

I admire "Kundun" for being so unreservedly committed to its vision, for being willing to cut loose from audience expectations and follow its heart ... And yet this is the first Scorsese film that, to be honest, I would not want to see again and again.

0
Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

press

Kundun is at once spectacular and inert - a mosaic impersonating a movie.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

The net result is difficult and demanding viewing yet strangely thrilling.

4.0
0

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