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Kundun


The Dalai Lama of Tibet

by Vivian Rose, age 14, Arkansas

Reminiscent of, but not quite as remarkable as, "Seven Years in Tibet," this lovely drama is based on a true story, yet remains tremendously entertaining.

In Tibet, the Dalai Lama, or the country's leader, is chosen by deciding whom the now-dead previous Dalai Lama is reincarnated as. That's a story in itself - what a wacky form of government! Anyway, this story chronicles the early years of the fourteenth Dalai Lama. At two years old, he is recognized as the reincarnation, or Kundun. Subsequently, he is taken from his family to live in a palace in the nation's capital where he will learn how to be a Dalai Lama. Meanwhile, China keeps attempting to invade Tibet, whose army is much smaller, and no match for the Chinese. Eventually, Kundun will have to make important decisions regarding the Chinese.

As I mentioned earlier, this movie reminds me of last year's "Seven Years in Tibet," except, of course, that it doesn't have Brad Pitt. It is almost as captivating, although it does get slow in a few places. The acting is commendable, considering the ages of the children who play Kundun at various stages of his childhood.

My rating: 3 stars
Rating: PG-13 (violent images)