Buddhism and film

Buddhism and film

Many people ask me: Why do you make film? As if I am doing something blasphemy, sacrilegious. I think, this is quite interesting to me, always. Especially in the west many people ask me. Quite shocking sometimes that they ask. Because I think in the west – this is another thing that I project – sometimes west and especially America is even more morally oriented than the east. I think the value of morality is so strong here. So I guess Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, pure moral, pure, something like that I think they categorize that. And film, limousine, sex, drugs, you know, violence. So I guess they stereotype both angles, and that is why many people ask why you as a Buddhist and for that matter a teacher, a practitioner, making film. Well first of all I must say I don’t see film making as something sacrilegious, actually there are a lot of other kind not so wholesome things that I do much worse than film making, I think. But I don’t see any conflict, to us Buddhism is like a science, is a study of life, is study of one’s individual self and how we look at the world. So since we approach Buddhism as a science and film is like a utensil, it’s a tool, it’s a medium. I don’t see any conflict between film and Buddhism. And it is not as if Buddhism, Buddhist scriptures have actually prohibited art or any kind of symbolic or representing medium. As you have seen, there is a strong culture and tradition of Buddhist painting and art and film can be just one new modern technology that we can use and it’s a timely, it is the right time, it is a very powerful medium.

Projecting the Dharma, Yale 2008