Bodhisattva portrays the Seventeenth Gyalwa Karmapa, one of
the most important lamas in the world of Tibetan Buddhism, at a unique
moment in his trajectory as a teacher: his first visit to the United
States (and the West). In this hour-long documentary, this young man of
extraordinary warmth, humanity, humor, and charisma speaks to packed
auditoriums and delights in encountering this new world. As a sequel to
Mark Elliott's earlier The Lions Roar (1987), a documentary about the previous Karmapa's first trip to the West, Bodhisattva continues to chronicle the life of this significant spiritual figure and his role in the transmission of Buddhism to the West.
Bodhisattva captures not only the Karmapa's disarming
honesty and genuine faith in his role as a bodhisattva, or one born to
benefit others, but also reveals much about the fascinating question of
transmission of religion, or belief system, from one culture to the
next. The Karmapa gives profound teachings on the importance of thinking
in new ways in order to address the social and environmental problems
facing humanity, emphasizing how we are all deeply interconnected. Our
recognition of this interconnection through the Karmapa's teachings in
this film gives hope for regeneration.
Bodhisattva interweaves footage shot on tour, with superb
background footage of the Karmapa's childhood in Tibet, sequences in
Dharamsala, India, and film of the previous Sixteenth Karmapa.
Meet the 17th Karmapa!