PBS Documentary "The Buddha"

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PBS Documentary "The Buddha"

Postby Dhammabodhi » Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:34 am

Hello all,

This is a recent PBS documentary on the Buddha's life and his teachings, by David Grubin. The rest of the parts could be found here.




:anjali:
Dhammabodhi
P.S: Maybe I'm just nitpicking, but I found it sloppy and incorrect at many points. Great imagery at some places though!
Last edited by Dhammabodhi on Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
-Samāhitam cittam yathābhutam pajānāti.

समाहितं चित्तं यथाभूतं पजानाती |

A concentrated mind sees things as they really are.

-Ujuko nāma so maggo, abhayā nāma sā disā.

उजुको नाम सो माग्गो, अभया नाम सा दिसा |

'Straight' is this path, fearlessness is its way.
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Re: PBS Documentary "The Buddha"

Postby Guy » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:21 am

Dhammabodhi wrote:I found it sloppy and incorrect at many points.


I agree. It would be nice if most of the talking was done by bhikkhu's/bhikkhuni's and scholars...but poets? :shrug:
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: PBS Documentary "The Buddha"

Postby Dhammabodhi » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:47 pm

Yes, I thought they chose some people who had a very distorted view of Buddhism, at least from the Theravada point of view. In any case, I did not feel that these intellectuals had gained enough personal insight or had a scholarly understanding to be qualified to talk about Buddhism on a public media.

It's rather sad that they choose not to consult Theravada scholars like Bikkhu Thanissaro or Bhikkhu Bodhi or meditation masters like Jack Kornfield or Bhante Gunaratna.
-Samāhitam cittam yathābhutam pajānāti.

समाहितं चित्तं यथाभूतं पजानाती |

A concentrated mind sees things as they really are.

-Ujuko nāma so maggo, abhayā nāma sā disā.

उजुको नाम सो माग्गो, अभया नाम सा दिसा |

'Straight' is this path, fearlessness is its way.
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Re: PBS Documentary "The Buddha"

Postby Kenshou » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:42 pm

Dhammabodhi wrote:It's rather sad that they choose not to consult Theravada scholars like Bikkhu Thanissaro or Bhikkhu Bodhi or meditation masters like Jack Kornfield or Bhante Gunaratna.


But that wouldn't get as many viewers, who wants to listen to a crusty old man talk about boring stuff? Esoteric crap is what the people want!

Edit: Alright, it's okay, but they could have picked some better speakers.
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Re: PBS Documentary "The Buddha"

Postby Maitri » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:25 am

I saw the documentary and like someone else I talked to, I thought it was "artful but skimpy on content". It was very tasteful in style and I think an easy introduction to Buddhism, particularly to people who know nothing at all about it. But, it did lack a lot of details.

The emphasis on poetry and authors, I think, was that they wanted to focus on the Buddha's life as a narrative- not so much on historicity and scholarship. In an interview the director, I read that he wanted to personalize the film for the audience by using the Buddha's life as example of his teachings.

I was hoping for a documentary of more substance, but alas it was not to be! :soap:
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Re: PBS Documentary "The Buddha"

Postby Dhammakid » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:50 pm

I agree with you all. I think the artistic value of the film is great, but it's severely lacking in accurate content. Some of the content is just plain wrong. I know it's supposed to appeal to a wider, non-Buddhist audience, but that doesn't justify falsehoods. But for what it's worth, it was okay.

I also try to keep in mind that we serious practitioners can be pretty protective of the Dhamma, especially us Theravadins. Not much of the mainstream treatment of Buddhism pleases us...

Anjali,
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Re: PBS Documentary "The Buddha"

Postby Dan74 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:57 pm

Which of the content did they get wrong, Dhammakid?

(I only watched the first part.)
_/|\_
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Re: PBS Documentary "The Buddha"

Postby Dhammabodhi » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:12 pm

Kenshou wrote:
Dhammabodhi wrote:It's rather sad that they choose not to consult Theravada scholars like Bikkhu Thanissaro or Bhikkhu Bodhi or meditation masters like Jack Kornfield or Bhante Gunaratna.


But that wouldn't get as many viewers, who wants to listen to a crusty old man talk about boring stuff? Esoteric crap is what the people want!

Edit: Alright, it's okay, but they could have picked some better speakers.


I don't know about anyone else, but when I listen to the likes of Ajahn Jayasaro :anjali: , Ajahn Brahm :anjali: , Bhante Gunaratna :anjali: , Bhikkhu Thanissaro :anjali: ...I get a helluva more inspiration than from, say, Richard Gere (no offence).

In my life, these have been easily the most beaufiful people I've seen, and even though I haven't met them, they have left a deep imprint in my mind, and induces faith and inspiration in me.

But yeah, it was ok.

:namaste:
-Samāhitam cittam yathābhutam pajānāti.

समाहितं चित्तं यथाभूतं पजानाती |

A concentrated mind sees things as they really are.

-Ujuko nāma so maggo, abhayā nāma sā disā.

उजुको नाम सो माग्गो, अभया नाम सा दिसा |

'Straight' is this path, fearlessness is its way.
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Re: PBS Documentary "The Buddha"

Postby Dhammakid » Sat May 01, 2010 10:57 pm

Very sorry it's taken me so long to respond. I've been pretty busy recently, and since I don't know when I'll be able to watch the film again, I'll take back my statement if that's okay. I just want to be accurate. All in all, I thought the film was good and I enjoyed watching. Hope this doesn't seem like a copout.

Anjali,
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Re: PBS Documentary "The Buddha"

Postby alan » Sun May 02, 2010 4:22 am

I bitched and moaned about this on another thread. But how about this idea for a nightmare scenario: Ken Burns Buddha?
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Re: PBS Documentary "The Buddha"

Postby PaulD » Sun May 02, 2010 5:53 am

I found the music in the background of that documentary to be very irritating.
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