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 »

MOSTLY MARTHA

Whilst she orders her life with the same regulation as she ordeis her kitchen, renowned chef Martha is not above bawling out a customer who thinks her foie gras overcooked. Equally passionate and a ... More »

PAULINE AND PAULETTE

Screening at London, Pusan and Toronto as well as taking the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (Special Mention) at Cannes, Pauline and Paulette has warmed hearts globally with its loveable characters. A ... More »

DONNIE DARKO

"Part comic book, part case study, this is certainly the most original and venturesome American independent of the past year." - Village Voice ... Donnie Darko takes its vernacular from 80s pop ... More »

THE SAFETY OF OBJECTS

MIFF has keenly followed the emerging career of US indie filmmaker Rose Troche, with her debut, Go Fish (1994) and Bedrooms and Hallways (1999). The Safety of Objects sees Troche widen her canvas to ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director