Little Buddha

"A magical journey to a place where the past and present meet"
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Little Buddha is a feature film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and produced by Jeremy Thomas. The film stars Bridget Fonda, Chris Isaak and Keanu Reeves. Little Buddha was released in France in 1993 and in the United States in 1994. Lama Norbu and the other Tibetan Buddhist monks of a Bhutan monastery seek the child who is the reincarnation of Lama Dorje, the legendary Buddhist teacher. Norbu and his fellow monks find Jesse Conrad, an American child and the son of a teacher and an architect from Seattle who they believe to be Lama Dorje's reincarnation. The monks travel to the city to meet the boy.

Jesse is interested in becoming a monk, but his parents, Dean and Lisa, are suspicious, and become angry when Norbu tells them that he would like Jesse to come back to Bhutan with him to be tested. Dean comes to understand Jesse’s decision and ultimately decides to travel with him to Bhutan.

In Nepal, two children named Raju and Gita are found. These children are also believed to be potential rebirths of the teacher, Lama Dorje. Over time, Lisa and Norbu read the story of Prince Siddhartha from a book Norbu gives to Jesse. In ancient Nepal, Siddhartha, a Hindu prince, leaves his content everyday life to embark on a journey to find an end to suffering in the world. As he travels, Siddhartha experiences realizations about existence, awareness and reality. He comes to battle a demon representative of the human ego named Mara, who frequently attempts to divert and defeat Siddhartha. Through intense non-attachment and the last discovery of his ego’s deceptive nature, Siddhartha reaches enlightenment and grows into the Buddha.

It is ultimately determined that all three children are reincarnations of Lama Dorje. Raju is his body, Gita is his speech, and Jesse is his mind. The monks hold a ceremony to celebrate the discovery. Lama Norbu meditates and then passes away. At his funeral, Norbu speaks to the three children from the afterlife, urging them to have compassion.

| 1994 | 2 hr 20 min | 6.1/10
Keanu Reeves, Ruocheng Ying, Chris Isaak, Alex Wiesendanger
Bernardo Bertolucci
Produced By
Jeremy Thomas
Little Buddha
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