Skip to main content

SAMSARA

India / Germany / Italy / France, 2001 (MIFF 2002, International Panorama)

Director: Pan Nalin

Tashi, a brilliant young Buddhist monk has just completed three years of solitary meditation amidst the splendor of the Himalayas. Brought out of a deep trance, he is taken back to his ancient monastery where he slowly recovers his strength. But Tashi's return has unexpected results. Despite a life devoted to the rigours of spiritual development, he finds himself experiencing a surprisingly profound sexual awakening. These feelings coincide with his journey to a village to perform a harvest blessing. There he meets Pema, a beautiful young woman - it is love at first sight. For the first time, Tashi begins to question the spiritual values of his monastic existence.

As a consequence, he is sent to a mysterious hermitage to be initiated into the sexual mysteries of the sacred Tantric texts; Tashi realises that one has to experience worldly existence in order to renounce it. He quits the monastery where he has lived since the age of five for the promise of Samsara: the material world, a place of possession, jealousy, complexity and, sometimes, destruction.

Pan Nalin's debut feature is a sumptuously photographed and wonderfully told story.

Pan Nalin is a guest of the Festival

A self-taught filmmaker born in a remote Indian village, Pan Nalin's career began in 1992 with a trio of shorts. In addition, he has directed a half dozen documentaries including Tulkus (1993), The Nagas (1994/5) and Devadasi (1997).

See also...

AYURVEDA: ART OF BEING

"Filmed largely in the south-western Indian state of Kerala, Pan Nalin's (director of MIFF 2002's Most Popular film Samsara) film offers glimpses of several different practitioners of traditional ... More »

Khajuraho

Myths and mysteries of love surround Khajuraho, the ancient site of a sacred Hindu temple of ecstasy. Here, man has attempted for centuries to find Liberation through Love, Deliverance through ... More »

IN PRAISE OF LOVE

"Jean-Luc Godard, the supreme iconoclast of the postwar generation, is still prolific after all these years, still wrestling with the questions that have informed his cinema over four decades. In ... More »

THE TRESPASSER

"The Trespasser went down so well when it screened at Sundance 2002 (it picked up the best Latin American feature prize) that director and co-writer Beto Brant was approached for US remake rights and ... More »

JACKPOT

Sunny Holiday and Lester Irving are a travelling two-man championship karaoke team. With Sunny on the mic for lounge bar faves and country classics, Lester taking care of the business end, the pair ... More »

R-XMAS

With the likes of Bad Lieutenant and The Funeral (MIFF 1997) to his credit, the name Abel Ferrara doesn't exactly lend itself to notions of Yuletide cheer So it isn't really surprising that, while ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director