Unmistaken Child

Rated NR 104 minutes 2009

First-time filmmaker Nati Baratz spent years following Tibetan Buddhist monk Tenzin Zopa on a quest to find the reincarnation of his departed master, Geshe Lama Konchog. What makes this film work is the extreme love that Tenzin felt toward his teacher. He recounts tales of sitting in the lama’s lap, adorning his head with flowers and, at age 7, rejecting the world of women and material goods in order to live in poverty and closeness to the man he loved. Tenzin’s grief at the loss of his beloved seems far more real than anything on “reality” television, and certainly more real than the fictional romances that fill summer movie screens. Things get weird when he identifies an infant as the reincarnation of his departed master, and the practices of Tibetan Buddhism receive some interesting scrutiny. Unfortunately, the film is a bit clumsy, and though it benefits from the gorgeous Nepali landscapes, Baratz introduces cheesy music at inappropriate times and could have used a more parsimonious editor. Still, this is an interesting look at a form of life deeply divorced from the norms of capitalism and heterosexual privilege.

Film Credits

Director: Nati Baratz

Producer: Ilil Alexander, Nati Baratz and Arik Bernstein

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Unmistaken Child

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