Monday, December 21, 2020

1152. Kundun

Directed by Martin Scorsese

I think this is the eleventh Martin Scorsese movie on the List, which seems...excessive. Personally, I'd take out Casino, Gangs of New York, Hugo, and this one. 

Kundun is based on the life and writings of Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama and the political leader of Tibet. The film depicts the life of the Dalai Lama from 1937 to 1959. The real Dalai Lama's grand-nephew plays the lead role.

So I guess it makes sense that somebody claiming to be the Dalai Lama doesn't make for the most relatable character. He is so distant that I felt very far removed from everything that happened. It seemed like such a spiritual story should feel more personal. I found myself watching the clock quite a bit. 

I get the sense Scorsese had trouble connecting to the material as well. It really had some dull stretches, although the fact that he cast non actors did give it an authentic feel. Not the most exciting Scorsese film you'll come across, but I guess worth watching if you want to see him do something completely different.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

The Dalai Lama and his family were portrayed by actual relatives of the Dalai Lama.

Filmed in Morocco. 

Scorsese, the writer Melissa Mathison, and her husband Harrison Ford are all banned from entering Tibet because of this movie.


  1. This made the list? It must have been one of those that appeared one year, and vanished the net, probably with strings pulled by Scorsese to push this as some sort of vanity project, possibly designed to show people he could do more than having not nice people killing other not nice people.
    I'd totally forgotten this film existed, and can recall no moment from it .. enough comment?

  2. Agreed, and there are way too many Scorsese films on the List to begin with