Little Buddha [1993]

In many ways Little Buddha is a companion piece to Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor. A beautiful travelogue and history lesson unfolds in the two parts of this film: a historical text of Siddhartha (Keanu Reeves) and the contemporary quest of Lama Norbu (Ying Ruocheng), who believes he has found the reincarnation of his former teacher in a Seattle child. The ancient, magical tales sweep away the blasé contemporary action. Ruocheng's presence drives the story of discovery as the child learns about the teachings of Buddhism. A visual feast that will dazzle both young and old. In fact, were it not a religious icon, the youngsters might want Siddhartha dolls after viewing his magical on-screen adventures. Beautiful cinematography by Vittorio Storaro. --Doug Thomas

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