The Buddha - The Story of Siddhartha
This insightful documentary by
award-winning filmmaker David Grubin recounts the life and times of the
Buddha through the ages which starts in the shadow of the
Himalayas, his birth place and moves to the present. Narrated by Richard Gere, also a Buddhist,
the viewer on an amazing journey through the life and teachings of
Siddhartha Gautama which is filled with easy to understand
information and some amazing artistic interpretations of
this holy individual.
This two part documentary is also littered with interesting
interviews by historians and modern Buddhists such as poet W.S. Merwin
and the Dalai Lama. Although I know of "Buddha", I was not
privy to his
history and was surprised to know that Prince Siddhartha went from
decadence to deprivation until one day, under that famous fig tree story,
he found enlightenment.
With that said, the information in this
documentary is quite fascinating to watch unfold as the
birth of the Buddha spawned this amazing religion and more importantly,
philosophy that preached peace. I love some of the explanation by
Western Scholars such as Jane Hirshfield who helps explain the idealism
behind Buddhism and how it evolved to what it is today.
To help explain
the story and the explanations, the documentary is laced with a stylised
form of a animation (see above screenshot) to further assist the viewer in understanding these
concepts as many Buddhists. One such explanation was that of the
Eightfold Path which is a journey to end suffering and if only more
people followed the philosophies of Buddhism, the world may be a better
From interesting interviews, wonderful
cinematography and some amazing artistic interpretations, The Buddha - The Story of Siddhartha is a must see documentary for those that want to know
more about one of the world's most influential historical and holy figures.
Video & Audio
Once again, this is another stellar release
from Madman thanks to its widescreen presentation, vibrant colours,
sharp images and deep blacks. It may not be Blu-ray but it's quite good
for DVD. All in all, if you're interested in the history of the Buddha,
this is a one documentary release that will answer most of your
questions and maybe leave you asking for more.