Synopsis by Hal Erickson
While the story behind the 1984 documentary Ossian: American Boy--Tibetan Monk may seem farfetched to Western audiences, it is not that uncommon--save for the nationality of the principal character. When we first meet Ossian, he is all of four years old, but already anointed by his devoutly Buddhist parents as a candidate for monkhood. The film shows Ossian's initiation into the order, counterbalanced with shots of this otherwise very typical American kid. The practice of consigning very young children to a lifetime of service to Buddha has come under fire in recent years, making Ossian all the more timely. Clocking in at 28 minutes, the film has been a frequent visitor to Public TV stations.