Documentary, not rated, 75 minutes, in Hindi, Ladakhi, and Tibetan with subtitles,
Reincarnation is an integral part of Tibetan Buddhist spirituality. Signs and portents are believed to herald the rebirth of the sacred master teachers who come back of their own free will to help guide others on the path to enlightenment.
chooses to focus not on how the lamas found six-year-old Padma Angdu, whom they believe is the reincarnation of a respected monk from centuries past, although their initial discovery is mentioned. The acceptance with which filmmakers Moon ChangYong and Jeon Jin treat this belief offers insight, instead, into the deep spirituality that accompanies Buddhism in the remote, mountainous region of Ladakh, India, where Tibetan monks live in exile.
is a story of young Padma’s journey of self-discovery. It’s a moving look at the poignant relationship between a young man and an old man — the godfather he refers to as “Uncle” Urgain Rigzin, who serves as selfless parent and teacher, abandoning his own position as a lama and village doctor to guide the child rinpoche until he’s old enough to begin instruction at a monastery.
The documentary begins during a ceremony when Padma is already nine years old, trained in the ways of the Buddhist monks, and offering blessings to a congregation of worshippers. He is remarkably wise and well-spoken for a young boy. He tells how, in another life, he lived in Kham, Tibet, where he was a revered lama. At the age of six he still remembers it, fully accepting of both who he is and who he was.