Many contemporary American popular films are presenting us with particular views of Tibetan Buddhism and culture. Unfortunately, the views these movies present are often misleading. In this essay I will identify four false characterizations of Tibetan Buddhism, as described by Tibetologist Donald Lopez, characterizations that have been refuted by post-colonial scholarship. I will then show how these misleading characterizations make their way into three contemporary films, Seven Years in Tibet, Kundun and Little Buddha. Finally, I will offer an explanation for the American fascination with Tibet as Tibetan culture is represented in these films.
"Orientalist Commercializations: Tibetan Buddhism in American Popular Film,"
Journal of Religion & Film: Vol. 2
, Article 5.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol2/iss2/5