Dalai Lama Renaissance

The Dalai Lama has tremendous faith in human kind, but while watching the new film Dalai Lama Renaissance you can’t help but wonder: “Why?” The documentary focuses its lens on a group of Western scholars and brainstormers called the Synthesis Group, a hand-selected think tank attempting to better the world through philosophy, physics, and good old fashioned conversation.

Our story follows this gathering to India, where they journey by plane, bus, and foot to reach the Dalai Lama’s mountaintop temple. They’ve been summoned to assist in problem solving, although the issues at hand lack concreteness. Call them assemblages of abstract ideas about global problems. It is here that the human ego swells like the blooming lotus flower: Conversation turns to finger-pointing, all parties want to speak to His Holiness personally, and you feel like you’ve stumbled into an unruly condo association meeting. If the Synthesis Group, the Dalai Lama’s elite gathering of scholars, can’t pull it back together by the film’s end, what hope is there for humanity as a whole? You’ll have to watch it tonight to find out. Dalai Lama Renaissance opens Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Cinema Paradiso (503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale). The film runs through August 3rd; tickets range $5 to $9. Call 954-525-FILM, or visit www.fliff.com.
July 30-Aug. 3, 2008

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Jamie Laughlin