Kundun, Kundun Movie Review, Movie Review, Film Review

Michael A. Maynez photo


Martin Scorcese and Melissa Mathison (Mrs Harrison Ford) have captured both in direction and scriptwriting the rapturous, remarkable and masterful piece of film making in "Kundun". Make no mistake this is no "Seven Years In Tibet". She has brilliantly taken the Dalai Lama and Tibet from the little boy's point of view. She has not tried to teach you Tibetan Buddhism. Her research has been most thorough. She flew to India several times , meeting with the Dalai Lama and conferring with him on the script, which underwent fourteen rewrites, as the Dalai Lama was adamant that the movie didn't appear as Chinese bashing propaganda. In an interview for "W" she is quoted as saying,"For years I read about the Dalai Lama, His Holiness, and thought the story of this boy , discovered at age two , groomed and nurtured , then asked to take the mantle of his country at incredibly tragic time, . would make a great movie." She met with exiled Tibetan leader, about seven years ago and he granted her permission to put his life story on the screen.

The cinematography and the music score are incredible and have received great acceptance by the critics. Martin Sorcese departure from "Casino", to "Kundun" is the other end of the rainbow. This was a very close to the heart project for Melissa Mathison who receives co-production credit with Barbara De Fina. There are many violent images projected on the screen, but many haunting sequences stunningly depicted. The big question emerging from all these talented people remains as to why the movie itself is not more involving. With such rich textured material we are left with the beauty of it all, but wondering why we are so detached from what should have been a very moving experience. Humanity thy name be Human Rights.

Touchstone Pictures
Produced by: Barbara de Fina
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Custome designer:
Muisc by: Philip Glass
Editor: Thelma Schoonmaker
Co-producer: Mellissa Mathison
Executive producer: Laura Fattori
Production designer and custome designer: Dante Ferretti
Director of photography: Roger Deakins
Written by: Melissa Mathison
Rated: PG-13
Released 25 December 1997

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Original Date Sunday 25 January 1998
Updated Sunday 25 January 1998