Co-sponsored by Northwest Dharma Association
If You Meet the Buddha on the Road: Reflections on the Buddhist World is the title of a series of nine films and several discussions scheduled by the Seattle International Film Festival Cinema to coincide with the April visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
"When I found out in November that the Dalai Lama was coming to Seattle," says SIFF Cinema Senior Programmer, Anita Monga, "I jumped at the chance to put together a series of films focused on Tibetan and Buddhist themes. The series is less a look at a religious tradition than a group of stories that reflect the compassionate tradition of the Dalai Lama. It's a kind of 'Greatest Hits' of the last 20 years of Buddhist-themed movies."
Co-sponsored by the Northwest Dharma Association, the series offers the work of filmmakers from eight countries. It focuses primarily on the Buddhism and Buddhist culture of Tibet and of Tibetans living outside their homeland—though there is one fascinating side trip to Korea for a view of Korean Zen.
Anita Feng, Abbess of Tiger Mountain Zen Community in Issaquah, has been invited to answer questions after the 6:00 p.m. showing of the Korean film, "Why Has Bodhidharma Left for the East?" on Sunday, April 13. If unable to attend, she will offer comments on the film later in the week at Blue Heron Zen Center in North Seattle.
Tulku Yeshe Gyatso, a Tibetan monk currently residing at Sakya Monastery in Seattle, will attend the film, "The Cup," and offer recollections afterwards. His own experiences as a young monk, he says, were "100% the same!" as those depicted in the movie. "The Cup" shows at 4:00 p.m. on April 13.
Director Mickey Lemle will visit from the Bay Area for a Q & A session after the showing of his 1993 documentary, "Compassion in Exile," a much-acclaimed portrait of the Dalai Lama. The film will be screened April 13 at 8:30.
In the works for Wednesday evening, April 16, is a panel discussion on "compassionate responses to aggression" to accompany the documentary, "In Search of Kundun," about the making of Martin Scorsese's groundbreaking feature film about the Dalai Lama.
Fragile cultural identity is the theme of "Roots of Infinity," the final film in the series. Afterwards anthropology graduate student Michelle Kleisath will discuss her experiences living and working in the Amdo region of Tibet over the past four years. "Roots of Infinity" shows April 17 at 7:30.
Other films in the series include "Travelers and Magicians" (4/11, 8:00), "Himalaya" (4/12, 2:00 and 8:00), "The Saltmen of Tibet" (4/14, 7:30), and "Dreaming Lhasa" (4/15, 7:30.) ⊕
The venue for all of these events is SIFF Cinema, 321 Mercer St. (beneath the Opera House) at Seattle Center.