Coming to theatres today, Friday, July 28:
THE LAST DALAI LAMA?
Mill Valley, Illuminate, Brisbane, Cleveland, Woodstock
An intimate portrait of the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people.
Despite its somewhat hokey punctuated title, Lemle’s film only addresses the question of whether there will be a 15th Dalai Lama relatively late in its running time, a response to the Chinese government’s announcement that it intends to play a major role in locating and raising his new incarnation. Lemle, who previously profiled the spiritual leader in 1992, instead takes a (perhaps too) broad look at both his history and present day concerns as he enters his 80s, from work with neuroscientists to map emotions like compassion to visits to classrooms that have adopted mindfulness techniques. Family members and religious and political leaders – including a surprisingly genuine George W Bush, who shows off a portrait of His Holiness he painted – sing the Dalai Lama’s praises, celebrating his influence and wisdom. While the film lacks a sense of focus, the viewer is still likely to be charmed by its beatific subject.