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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).

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