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Words of My Perfect Teacher


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Product Details

  • Actors: Khyentse No, Bernardo Bertolu, Steven Sea
  • Directors: Lesley Ann Patten
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Dolby, NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Festival Media
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2008
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0013FMUYU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,413 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

A profile (of sorts) of Tibetan teacher and filmmaker Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, director of The Cup and Travellers & Magicians

"Funny, brave, illuminating, adventurous." Chronicle Herald

"Thoughtful, surprisingly fast-moving... a memorably quirky look..." Variety

Best Feature Documentary Houston International Film Festival
Best Foreign Film Rhode Island International Film Festival

From the World Cup in Germany to the remote Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan, three students are on a quest they hope will lead to wisdom. The catch is ... the teacher. Soccer obsessed, charismatic filmmaker, and citizen of the world, Khyentse Norbu may be one of the world s most eminent Tibetan Buddhist teachers, but it's a job description he slyly seems to reject at every turn.

Featuring appearances by Bernardo Bertolucci and Steven Seagal

Filmed in the UK, Bhutan, Canada, the US, and Germany.

Music by Sting, Tara Slone & Joy Drop, Steve Tibbets, U.Man.Tek, Kunga 19, and others

Vancouver International Film Festival
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
International Buddhist Film Festival
Woodstock Film Festival
Amsterdam Film Festival
Hawaii International Film Festival
Filmstock International Film Festival
Vladivostock International Film Festival

Bonus Features
Interview with Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Norbu Rinpoche
Buddhist film trailers

Customer Reviews

Highly recommended for an evening of laughs and fun.
simple thoughts
Too little of this necessary admission of the students' side of the guru exchange leaves parts of this superficial and frustrating.
John L Murphy
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche is a delight to watch, and his words seem very authentic.
LW Raboys

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Daiho VINE VOICE on July 14, 2008
Format: DVD
This is a film about a Buddhist guru and his western followers, a Canadian engineer, an English fortune teller, and an American filmmaker (the same who made this movie). What you'll find at the end of nearly two hours with this group is that the guru is the most normal person among them.

This is especially remarkable for a man who in his native Bhutan is revered as a god and who, if he let it go to his head, could lord it over his western students, who being in need of someone to tell them how to manage their lives have already given over to him much of their own intellectual and emotional independence.

The guru, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche (aka Khyentse Norbu), is in Europe and North America one of the most well-known teachers of Vajrayana Buddhism, the form of the faith practiced in the Himalayan countries of Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, and north India. He is believed to be the reincarnation of a famous teacher and comes from a family with a long line of famous teachers. It is not his pedigree, though, that has earned him notoriety, but his films. He began his movie career working as an assistant on Bernardo Bertolucci's Little Buddha (1993), before going on to make The Cup (2000), and Travellers & Magicians (2003).

Khyentse Norbu finds himself, though, somewhat reluctantly stuck with the job of guru. "I hate my profession," he laments. "So much hypocrisy, pretense, so much cultural hang ups. I wish I'm just an ordinary person.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By LW Raboys on October 12, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Yes, as other viewers have stated, the acolytes making a film about their guru don't seem to learn a lot in the process, but this film is 5 star not because of them, but because of the guru, who sees through it all and quietly reveals himself. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche is a delight to watch, and his words seem very authentic. There is an excellent "extra" accompanying the film - a 20 minute Q&A interview with Dzongsar Rinpoche. One of the best moments for me was when the Rinpoche was asked if he considered himself enlightened. I won't reveal what he said, but will tell you his answer profoundly affected me and has prompted me to seek out his writings, which I am finding bridge a gap for westerners who practice Buddhism.
PS... after viewing this film about 15 times over the past few weeks I must add that it is a very finely crafted film. Lesley Ann Patten, one of the acolytes, wrote and directed the film, as well as narrates it. She has a sardonic but pleasant voice, which is intriguing. Her very perplexity over all that is occurring reflects the groundless nature of Buddhist teaching and its challenges for westerners. The music on the soundtrack is perfect, as is the editing. This really is an excellent film.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Steve on October 6, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Using the title of the 1st Patrul Rinpoche's important text Kunzang Lamai Sheylung as the title, this is a hagiographical documentary on the relationship between teacher and student (in this case the teacher is Dzongsar Khyentse Norbu Rinpoche). Alas, there is a lot of unintended insight into the almost pathetically endearing yet ultimately unfulfilled desire for personal wish-fulfillment on the part students in their relationship with a chosen spiritual teacher, but very little genuine perceptiveness when the teacher and his complex role is examined. Dzongsar Khyentse, it is true, does say a couple of interesting things about the phenomenon (mainly that he really dislikes it) in this documentary, but much of it -no doubt thanks to the editing- has already been said ad nauseum by others, from Trungpa Rinpoche onward. Mostly, the movie is about a group of Khyentse Rinpoche's students and their willingness to use any pretext (in this case, making a movie) to fulfill their burning need to get as continually close as possible to their guru, and their guru's constant slipping through their metaphorical fingers like mercury when squeezed too tightly since he quite obviously sees through their little game. I think the movie's main weakness lies in the inability of the students/filmmakers to observe their teacher apart from their from their projections and fantasies, even for a millisecond. SriDurga's review says it this way, "What you'll find at the end of nearly two hours with this group is that the guru is the most normal person among them.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 19, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Have viewed this DVD a few times now, and love it every time. Sometimes the students get "in the way", but overall a very good documentary. I simply love Khyentse Norbu's style as a teacher, and his view. Some highlights for me was to see his teachings, and where he studied. I loved the scenes in Bhutan, and the interjection of 9/11, and the viewpoint of the level of agression in the world (viewed through 9/11 and soccer matches in Europe). Thanks for such a good film.
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