Aired Wednesday April 7th, 2010 at 7:00 pm on KUED HD Ch. 7.1
A beatifully crafted two-hour documentary by award-winning filmmaker David Grubin tells the fascinating story of the Buddha, a man whose spiritual quest led to the founding of one of the world's major religions. "The Buddha," narrated by Richard Gere, airs on KUED-Channel 7 on Wednesday, April 7 at 7:00 p.m.
The film features the works of some of the world's greatest artists and sculptors, who across two millennia, have depicted the Buddha's life through rich and complex art. The special also features insights into the ancient narrative by contemporary Buddhists, including Pulitzer Prize winning poet W.S. Merwin and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The film explores meditation, the history of Buddhism, and the Buddha's teachings on incorporating compassion and mindfulness into daily life.
"The Buddha never claimed to be God, nor his emissary on earth," says Grubin. "He said only that in a world of unavoidable pain and suffering, he had found a serenity which others could find too. In our own bewildering times of violent change and spiritual confusion, the Buddha's teachings have particular relevance."
The Buddha's story begins 2,500 years ago in northern India when the 29-year-old Prince Siddhartha left the palace where he had spent his life indulging in pleasure. The prince was determined to comprehend the nature of human suffering. After a grueling spiritual quest that lasted six years, he attained enlightenment while meditating under a fig tree. Siddhartha became the Buddha, the "awakened one," devoting the rest of his life to teaching the way to enlightenment that he himself had found, thus giving birth to one of the world's great religions.
Experts on the Buddha, representing a variety of disciplines, relate the key episodes of the Buddha's life and reflect on what his journey means for us today. "We are delighted to participate in broadening people's understanding of Buddhism today with Grubin's moving portrait of the life of the Buddha," says John F. Wilson, PBS senior vice president. "This film exposes not just the man, but also his rich teachings, which we hope will spark a larger conversation about religion and spirituality."
Following "The Buddha," KUED presents Independent Lens "Unmistaken Child" at 9:00 p.m. on April 7. The film follows the four-year search for the reincarnation of Lama Konchog, a world-renowned Tibetan master who passed away in 2001 at age 84. After Konchog's death, the Dalai Lama asked the deceased monk's shy and gifted disciple, Tenzin Zopa to completetjhe monumental task of searching for the reincarnation of Lama Konchog.
Both mysterious and enchanting, the film looks at the balance between physical gratification and spirituality. The cinematography captures the breathtaking landscapes and remote traditional Tibetan villages where mist filters through craggy cliffs and wild flowers dance in the mountain meadows. Writing about the program, Stephen Holden of the New York Times wrote, "How we perceive the universe, time, death and rebirth has everything to do with altitude and latitude."
This episode of Buddha can also be viewed:
Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 @ 7:00 pm on KUED HD Channel 7.1
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