zavk wrote:This essay from a while back 'Orientalist Commercializations: Tibetan Buddhism in American Popular Film' doesn't mention The Golden Child but analyses Seven Years in Tibet, Kundun and Little Buddha. The points it raises about the West's fascination with and idealised constructions of the 'Mystical East' might shed light on your question. Hope this helps.
zavk wrote:The main ideas I wanted to share are more precisely the points about the ongoing influence of Orientalism—i.e. of how media texts could sometimes, even if unintentionally, perpetuate unhelpful stereotypes which reinforce cultural hierarchies or misrepresent others.
You'll note that the essay engages with the work of Donald S. Lopez Jr, who is a noted Buddhist scholar.
kirtu wrote:The author of the essay posits an extreme view and makes numerous groundless assertions mostly about their interpretation of how American's and American society views Tibetan Buddhism. One example is that they assert that movie going audiences laugh at the native population for being "backward", etc. Really? This was a noted reaction in theaters? I saw all those movies and never heard it.
They also make a great deal out of a single charged case played out on TV and make numerous assertions based on that (in fact I know a young monk who was not a tulku but was sent to a monastery when they were about 12 and have been studying there for 6 years now).
At any rate one could hardly extract the "West as Savior" from either Kundun (quite the opposite in fact) or "Little Buddha" (the Western kid is not the main tulku emanation).
It's late where I am and I have to go to sleep but will follow up tomorrow.
Giving up materialism is a virtue we enjoy seeing in Tibetan culture, even one that satisfies or renews us, but is not one we approve of for ourselves. To toy with the idea of a nonmateralist culture is romantic and entertaining. To act upon this idea for ourselves, however, is downright un-American.
gregkavarnos wrote:As for Little Buddha, any movie casting Keanu Reeves as the Buddha has to be seriously depraved: "Like... samsara, dude... whoa!"
Ha! I see your River Phoenix! Time to show your hand.BTW - I'm see your Keanu Reeves and raise you River Phoenix. That might have been unredeemable.
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