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Kundun

Director: Martin Scorsese


The IFC’s May-June 1998 programme featured a premiere run of Kundun and a fairly comprehensive Martin Scorsese retrospective. Considered by many as American cinema’s greatest living director, Scorsese managed to renew his art with Kundun, which embraces a foreign culture and owes absolutely nothing to current Hollywood fashions. Filled with the pageantry and rituals of Tibetan culture, this is in many ways a straightforward account of the life and struggles of the fourteenth Dalai Lama, from his discovery by Buddhist monks in 1937 to his exile to India in 1959 after years of trying to work out a peaceful accommodation with the Chinese invaders. Scorsese mounts the film as a cross between a religious biopic and an interiorised meditation on faith, loss and transcendence.
U.S.A., 1997. Colour. Anamorphic. Dolby digital stereo. 134 mins.

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