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Journey Into Buddhism: Dharma River
Journey Into Buddhism Dharma River
Actor: John Bush
Director: John Bush
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Educational, Documentary
NR     2007     1hr 21min

Yatra is the Sanskrit word for pilgrimage or spiritual journey. As the first documentary in the Yatra Trilogy, Dharma River is a timeless journey through legendary rivers to the greatest Buddhist temples and mystical sites...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: John Bush
Director: John Bush
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Travel, Television, Educational, Documentary
Studio: WGBH Boston
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 09/04/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 21min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Beautiful images a Buddhist will love.
Jonathan Greenlee | 02/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The images of sacred sites are 5-star. The naration is forgetabble. I recommend this to Buddhists who want to see, not to people seeking teachings."
A radiant passage through the spiritual worlds of Thailand,
carolyn muir | DC area | 10/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Dharma River is a visually stunningly and informative documentary while providing a rare glimpse of a world seldom seen. Traveling by river to famous golden temples, Buddha caves, colorful villages and lost civilizations, I felt immersed in places I never knew existed. It was an enlightening journey.

I was also relieved to see that director John Bush presents Buddhism in a universal and essential way free from a sectarian point of view. He shares this more as an artist not as a spiritual teacher. It is also very inviting to people who are not Buddhist but interested in travel to these places. He portrays the spiritual cultures of Thailand, Laos and Burma as they are practiced by the people living there. Fascinating.

The timing of the film is a meditation. The director is obviously playing with a sense of time to induce a more intuitive and serene state and it works. The music is extraordinary and much of the local music I had never heard before but was happy to discover.

I highly recommend Dharma River and the entire trilogy of these films."
A personal pilgrimage into sacred space
rachel b. | santa fe | 05/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Dharma River took me deep into the mystery and delight of SE Asian spirituality. Not only for Buddhists, this film will satisfy lovers of asian art and culture, as well as those who want to learn about Thailand, Laos and Burma before going or coming back. It is also a joy for the armchair mystic.

This film and the others of the trilogy are offered by the filmmaker as his own journey without the artifice and barrier of a large production crew "on-set". The fact that John Bush shot it himself and offers his voice as narrator gives a remarkable intimacy and "you are there" quality for those of us who go along with him to these many unforgettable destinations. The whole technique is transporting and immersive. To truly capture a profound sense of the sacred in this medium is rare and sublime.

Given our sad awareness about events in Burma these days, it was particularly gratifying to see his tender portrayal of the Burmese people at worship. The gilded architecture, countless Buddha images and the hypnotic music of these lands creates a magical sense of timelessness. Traveling on the rivers of SE Asia
as part of this pilgrimage was soothing and satisfying.

Once you hear the narration version you can then switch to the ambient soundtrack and the film becomes an extended sacred music video in 5.1 surround sound. You can also do the journey in stages rather than all at once.

This series is only for those who wish a meditative experience. It isn't your typical BBC type documentary.
But if you let go into it, you will be rewarded with your own inner pilgrimage as well."