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Unmistaken Child

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Unmistaken Child

Movie Review: Unmistaken Child (Samsara Films and Alma Films, 2008)

In 2002, documentary film maker, Nati Baratz, recorded the search for a reincarnated Buddhist Master in the Tibetan villages of Katmandu, China.
Tenzin, a devoted disciple of the deceased monk, Geshe Lama Konchog, is tasked with finding his master's reincarnation by the Dalai Lama. Tenzin travels throughout Tibet searching for a child who exhibits knowledge from the master's previous incarnation. During his search, Tenzin interacts with villagers, families and other monks against the beautiful landscapes of this area of China, an area bordering India. Tenzin's search for his reincarnated master is a personal challenge which draws the viewer into contemplating what is sacrificed for the greater good.
In the end, a child is taken from his loving family, presented to the Dalai Lama who confirms the reincarnation and then presented to devotees as the Buddhist master.
Over the course of this four year process, the film allows viewers an intimate look into the processes and rituals of Buddhist monks, the varying landscapes of this unique area.

The film may be too slow for most high school students, but vignettes of the landscape and of the rituals would be instructive for students learning about geography or about the religions of the area.