Friday, August 12, 2011

Wheel of Time

** Wheel of Time **
** "A spiritual Woodstock..." **

Film Information:

Director: Werner Herzog
Starring: Dalai Lama
Genre:  Documentary
Country:  Germany
Language: English/Tibetan
Year:     2003

Herzog's documentary film about the largest Buddhist ritual to promote peace and tolerance, held by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Bodh Gaya, India and Graz, Austria in 2002. The film includes exclusive interviews with the Dalai Lama, access to previously secret rituals for the first time as well as footage of a pilgrimage to the Holy Mount Kailash in Tibet.

In 2002 Werner Herzog went to India to observe the festival of Kalachakra, the ritual that takes place every few years to allow Tibetan Buddhist monks to become ordained. An estimated 500,000 Buddhists attended the initiation at Bodh Gaya, the land where the Buddha is believed to have gained enlightenment. The resulting documentary, Wheel of Time, is an often sublime look at an endangered culture whose very way of life is threatened. Herzog admits that he knows little about Buddhism, yet as we observe the rituals, the celebrations, and the devotion of Tibetan Buddhists we learn much about the richness of their tradition and their strength as a people.

The festival, which lasts ten days, arose out of the desire to create a strong positive bond for inner peace among a large number of people. The magnificently beautiful mandala, which signifies the wheel of time, is carefully constructed at the start of the festival using fourteen different tints of colored sand, then dismantled at the end to dramatize the impermanence of all things.

Using two interpreters, Herzog interviews a monk who took three and one-half years to reach the festival while doing prostrations on the 3000-mile journey. Other Buddhists are shown trying to do 100,000 prostrations in six weeks in front of the tree under which the Buddha is supposed to have sat. In a sequence of rare beauty accompanied by transcendent Tibetan music, we see a Buddhist pilgrimage to worship at the foot of 22,000-foot Mount Kailash, a mountain that is considered in Buddhist and Hindu tradition to be the center of the universe. Wheel of Time contains many such moments of grace and images of spectacular beauty and provides us with an insight into an ancient tradition geared toward perfecting humanity through quieting the mind and cultivating compassion.

Technical Details:

Width: 528 pixels
Height: 304 Pixels  
Duration: 1:20:06
Bit Rate: 384kbps
Frame rate: 29 frames/second
Data rate: 159kbps
Video Sample size: 12 bit
Video Compression: DivX

Files in this torrent:

Wheel of Time (2003, Werner Herzog).avi
               4 File(s)    782,670,629 bytes

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