Box set: Journey Into Buddhism

Journey Into Buddhism Trilogy
WGBH (11/4/2004)
In Collection
Seen ItNo
255 mins USA / English
DVD  Region 1   NR (Not Rated)
Sharon Stone herself (voice)
John Bush
Writer John Bush

The 3 dvds let filmmaker John Bush reveal this epic journey over 4.5 hours while visiting the most amazing temples, villages, caves, mountains and rivers in so many different places in Asia. I was particularly moved by the Burma and Tibet segments as there is so much difficulty there, while the people are so beautiful and their cause is so just.

These are not the usual talking heads type documentaries but more intuitive,spontaneous and revealing. We follow the camera into rare and seldom seen places and hear the legends and spiritual significance of each place. I was particularly impressed by the music which seemed very well suited to each scene and added to the dramatic structure. David Hykes' harmonic chants are hypnotic. There is a huge amount of the local music that is extraordinary and which I have never heard before. Each dvd has two viewing choices - with a narrator and with just music and sound. I look forward to this one.

While I know something about Buddhism I was relieved that the films do not have any sectarian biases - you do not have to be a Buddhist to "get" what John Bush is offering here. He presents it all in an informed but universal way that is quite engaging. There is something noble in seeing the grandeur and simplicity of these Asian venues dedicated to nothing but the discovery of wisdom & compassion.

The cinematography is world class and gets into very intimate and privileged places within these many sacred places. The 3 dvds offer penetrating journeys into the spiritual realms of Thailand, Laos. Burma, Cambodia, Bali, Java and traditional Tibet. The narration is minimal, poetic and at times mildly academic. The words do have a real feeling of allegory and while describing exotic cultures still felt deeply personal to me and my life.

The filmmaker, John Bush, shows no religious bias and the dvds are excellent for Buddhists, travelers or anyone simply interested in discovering these worlds seldom seen. I highly recommend this collection. They stand repeated viewing and have enough depth to keep revealing more.
Disc 01
 85 mins    11/4/2004  1.  Prajna Earth
Disc 02
 89 mins    2006  2.  Vajra Sky Over Tibet
Disc 03
 81 mins    2007  3.  Dharma River
Edition Details
Series Journey Into Buddhism
Release Date 9/4/2007
Screen Ratio Fullscreen (4:3)
Audio Tracks Stereo [English]
Layers Single Side, Single Layer
No. of Disks/Tapes 3