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Lions Roar : May 2016
Michael Imperioli For the Benefit of All Beings directed by Christina Lundberg (2011) Brilliant Moon directed by Neten Chokling (2010) and Eva Green star. It brings together a few things I love: beautiful visuals and music, great acting and writing, a mov- ing yarn, and a science fiction/thriller edge. The premise is that one day a pan- demic begins to hit the world in which human beings begin to lose one sense at a time. There are stages of grief in this, of course, and a certain amount of pandemonium and rage. All head toward a perilous ending, but there are also euphoria and deepening height- ened pleasure in what remains. Ewan McGregor plays a restaurant owner, and the most memorable scene for me is how human beings learn, after the senses of smell and taste dis- appear, to delight in the texture of food and the sheer joy and necessity of being together at a meal. I have no reason to believe that the makers of this movie were Buddhist. But the absolute attention to presence in all its nuance—and the healing in and through suffering—seems to me a reflection of Buddhist psychology and humanity at its best. KRISTA TIPPETT is the creator of the public radio show and podcast On Being, a National Humanities medalist, and the author of the forthcoming book Becoming Wise. I have two favorite Buddhist films. The first and closest to my heart is For the Benefit of All Beings, which is about the life of Garchen Rinpoche, who also hap- pens to be my root teacher. The story of this great lama’s life and the difficulties he has overcome is a never-ending source of inspiration. Rinpoche spent twenty years doing hard labor in a Chinese con- centration camp and yet has spent his life cultivating and teaching love and com- passion for all sentient beings. The other film is Brilliant Moon, which is about the life of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, one of the most renowned Tibetan Buddhist masters of the twenti- eth century. This film has great footage of Khyentse Rinpoche teaching in his unique and inimitable style. I watch this film often and never tire of hearing this precious and inconceivable lama teach us the dharma. ♦ MICHAEL IMPERIOLI is an actor and writer best known for his work on The Sopranos. He is currently appearing on the Amazon series Mad Dogs. The late Dilgo Khyenste Rinpoche is the subject of Brilliant Moon. LION’S ROAR | MAY 2016 51