• Director(s):

    MEISSONNIER (Martin)

  • Territories:


  • Production year:


  • Language(s):

    German, English, French

  • Rights:


The Life of Buddha sets out to re-examine the life and doctrines of Buddha in the places where he himself lived.

It is two thousand five hundred and forty-four years since the Buddha Sakhyamuni departed this world, having attained Nirvana, the highest level of enlightenment.
Although over half of humanity has been influenced by Buddha's ideas, his life-story has been interpreted in various ways.
Our knowledge of Buddha stems mainly from the Tibetan exegetical tradition. But the facts of his life are less well-known and their significance has often been distorted by the religious establishment.
Rather than taking a hagiographical approach, this documentary attempts to find out who Buddha really was. He emerges as an anarchist visionary who attempted to shatter the caste system in which India is still imprisoned, forbade his followers to make representations of him (the earliest image of Buddha dates from seven centuries after his death), and invented the law of cause and effect, whose relevance scientists have recently rediscovered.
His founding texts are explained by lay Buddhists - peasants, children and wise men - and by monks, in the very places where Buddha lived and taught 2,500 years ago.

Programme released on DVD by ARTE Video
Bonus: Beyond the film, 50 minutes of interview about:
A few fundamental notions by the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddha and Brahmanism, Lotus Sutra, Bodh Gaya, The representation of the Buddha, Architecture at the time of the Buddha, The Stupas, The University of Nalanda.