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Reincarnated Buddhist lama directs opening film for Busan FilmFest

By InCinemas  /  11 Sep 2013 (Wednesday)

Khyentse Norbu is the third reincarnation of a holy Tibetan Buddhist, and he also makes movies! His latest film, aptly titled Vara: A Blessing, has been selected to open the Busan Film Festival on 3 October. Find out more about this movie after the jump!

Vara is a beautiful depiction of life in rural India – of dancing girls serving a Hindu god, holy lakes and sacred forest shrines – perhaps, a village lost in time. Yet amidst the visual splendor Norbu doesn’t fail to point out the social contradictions: The unfairness of the caste system, the coexistence of Hindu and Muslim beliefs and the meeting of Bollywood and traditional Bharatanatyam dance.

Vara’s lingering attention to song and dance strikes a chord with Satyajit Ray’s The Music Room (1958), also a film that delivers insights into the social dynamics of rural India. Both films are exclusively situated in a remote landlord’s estate that must deal with the march of time. Ironically, compare both films and little seems to have changed over half a century.

But visually, Vara is a stunning film that features mystical dreamscapes, just like Khyentse Norbu’s previous movie Travellers and Magicians (2003). Just check out some of the amazing film stills.

We’re looking forward to catching Vara: The Blessing on the big screen at the Busan Film Festival (3-12 October) and we’ll be there to share our experiences with you!

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