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Journey Into Buddhism Trilogy
Journey Into Buddhism Trilogy
Actor: Journey Into Buddhism
Director: John Bush
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Documentary
NR     2007     4hr 15min

This trilogy of visually stunning documentaries are cinematic pilgrimages to the spiritual wonders and wisdom of Southeast Asia and Tibet. Journey into the living traditions, lost civilizations and luminous landscapes of t...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Journey Into Buddhism
Director: John Bush
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Travel, Television, Documentary
Studio: WGBH Boston
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 09/04/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 4hr 15min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

An exquisitely beautiful and spiritually alive experience.
carolyn muir | DC area | 10/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am still arriving back from this incredible journey. The 3 dvds let filmmaker John Bush reveal this epic journey over 4.5 hours while visiting the most amazing temples, villages, caves, mountains and rivers in so many different places in Asia. I was particularly moved by the Burma and Tibet segments as there is so much difficulty there, while the people are so beautiful and their cause is so just.

These are not the usual talking heads type documentaries but more intuitive,spontaneous and revealing. We follow the camera into rare and seldom seen places and hear the legends and spiritual significance of each place. I was particularly impressed by the music which seemed very well suited to each scene and added to the dramatic structure. David Hykes' harmonic chants are hypnotic. There is a huge amount of the local music that is extraordinary and which I have never heard before. Each dvd has two viewing choices - with a narrator and with just music and sound. I look forward to this one.

While I know something about Buddhism I was relieved that the films do not have any sectarian biases - you do not have to be a Buddhist to "get" what John Bush is offering here. He presents it all in an informed but universal way that is quite engaging. There is something noble in seeing the grandeur and simplicity of these Asian venues dedicated to nothing but the discovery of wisdom & compassion.

The voiceover narration works fine - I would have preferred to hear the people speak sometimes, but I guess it would have to be translated anyway.
All in all it is a remarkable way to see so much of spiritual Asia in a short amount of time. I truly recommend this set.

Beautiful images, forgetable naration.
Jonathan Greenlee | 02/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The point of these DVD's are the images of sacred sites - which are 5-star. The naration is forgetable."
A transformative journey into a rare and luminous world
rachel b. | santa fe | 04/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Do not miss this experience. I really did not know what to expect with this collection and came away completely in awe. There is so much going on here: travel to extraordinary lands, Buddhist teachings, a hypnotic soundtrack of chant and Asian music and an informed respect for the spiritual cultures we are seeing.

The cinematography is world class and gets into very intimate and privileged places within these many sacred places. The 3 dvds offer penetrating journeys into the spiritual realms of Thailand, Laos. Burma, Cambodia, Bali, Java and traditional Tibet. The narration is minimal, poetic and at times mildly academic. The words do have a real feeling of allegory and while describing exotic cultures still felt deeply personal to me and my life.

The filmmaker, John Bush, shows no religious bias and the dvds are excellent for Buddhists, travelers or anyone simply interested in discovering these worlds seldom seen. I highly recommend this collection. They stand repeated viewing and have enough depth to keep revealing more."
Beautiful Journey to Exotic Places
Christopher Gordon | Southern Cal | 01/01/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"There are many beautiful places and people to enjoy here. I bought this to transport me from my living room to exotic lands to experience different cultures and customs. This set delivers. Although it primarily shows Buddhist temples, monks and other related sites, there is no philosophy being preached here, it is a simple journey through gorgeous lands. Don't worry about any religious overtones, there are none. Some of the tribal people are so colorfully dressed and ornamented, I never would have guessed that is what they wear.

The films do suffer from technical difficulties - jerky and inappropriate camera movement (Photography 101 Never use Zoom), segments better left on the cutting room floor (for example the first film had to show us the boatman taking us upriver, but the 8 or 9 seconds were badly done as the boatman eludes us), better editing probably could have fixed most of the problems I saw, there were minor sound problems, and the change in narrators is uncomfortable. I enjoyed the last narration best as it included the film maker and guests who had something to add to the narration. Generally I don't think the narration is that strong, it's kind of an ordinary monotone overview, nothing particularly entertaining or educational. It doesn't add much to a scene to say "the morning sun shines over the river" when you show the morning sun shining over a river. There were many questions that filled my mind as the camera went from place to place, but unfortunately they weren't answered.

The package is marked "letterboxed", but that's only partially correct: the first two discs are 4:3 or "full" screen format, only the last is widescreen format.

I really appreciate the ability to turn off narration, which I did after the first viewing, now I only listen to the music and marvel at the sights presented. The music is varied and adds much, it is especially effective in surround sound. The bonus video of Vajra Realm did not impress me and seems a meandering and pointless addition.

Overall the package is nicely done and should interest any armchair traveler who wants to see Buddhist temples and ceremonies of Southeast Asia, Laos, Thailand, Burma, Bali, Cambodia, Java, and Central Tibet. Some of the temples are truly amazing in size and detail, and the lands surrounding can be breathtaking."