Synopsis by Mark Deming
Celebrated filmmaker Werner Herzog turns his attention to one of the largest Buddhist gatherings in the world in this documentary. Each year, thousands of Buddhist pilgrims travel to the village of Bhod Gaya in India (the place where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment) to take part in the Kalachakra Initiation. As the visitors stream into Bhod Gaya, many traveling on foot and often stopping to prostrate themselves as a sign of devotion, a team of monks create a beautiful and intricate sand painting on Mount Kallash, which is scattered to the winds by the Dalai Lama at the end of the 12-day celebration as a symbol of the impermanence of existence. Herzog documents the ancient rituals of this ceremony as well as profiling the Dalai Lama and some of the many Buddhists who travel to India for this event. Wheel of Time was originally produced for German and British television, though it enjoyed a theatrical release in the United States.
behind-the-scenes, Buddhism, ceremony, Dalai Lama, initiation, mysticism, peace, pilgrimage, rites, ritual, spirituality, tolerance