Movies, Anyone?

This Saturday is the first meeting of the Shambhala Film Society, a community of filmmakers interested in discussing how the Shambhala principles of basic goodness and enlightened society and the path of meditation influences and informs their work. All are welcome.

The following are links to film reviews fellow Shambhalian Harish Rao wrote for Buzzine Magazine.

As a filmmaker, and somebody who works in the entertainment industry, I have always had an affinity for film, and specifically foreign film cinema. Being an American born Indian, it is actually quite a natural disposition. I have been raised from two distinctively different cultures and thereby have seen film told from two polar opposite perspectives growing up my whole life.

Since finding the Shambhala Community and the Buddhist path of study, I find that the approach and view of films and filmmaking especially in most cases being an expression of society to be a very different experience in practicing and cultivating Enlightened Society. This is a decided shift from being a movie reviewer, or critic of films, and focusing my efforts into the value of what films have to offer us on the whole. I have always been intrigued by the cross-cultural story telling perspective, especially considering my own cross-cultural background of East and West,  because I believe it mirrors the world we live in. No longer are we isolated inside our own countries, but rather our films and stories are a hybrid of cities, coasts, cultural infusions and even to the depths of what we base our spiritual reference points. It is from this perspective of which I write film columns as a Senior Columnist for Buzzine Magazine and am afforded the opportunity to chose the content and subject matter I would like to write about and am indebted to the magazine for providing me such an opportunity.

RFThe Reluctant Fundamentalist

Mira Nair’s Film with Riz Ahmed is a Tapestry of Post-9/11 Politics, Spirituality


More than a decade since the events of September 11, 2001 occurred in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., Indian American filmmaker Mira Nair is the latest in a long line of directors to shed a unique perspective of the terrorist attacks on American soil. Her political thriller, The Reluctant Fundamentalist opened last year’s Venice International Film Festival and is set to hit theaters April 26; the film stars Riz Ahmed, Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber, Om Puri, Kate Hudson, and Shabana Azmi


Midnight’s Children

Deepa Mehta’s Film of Modern India Parallel’s Salman Rushdie’s Eponymous Book

Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children, based on the Booker Prize winning novel by Salman Rushdie, is a very interesting experiment in book writing and filmmaking. Often time most people mock clichés about film not being as good as the movie and vice versa. Despite books and film being two completely different mediums altogether, I am always amazed that this direct comparison seems to be an ongoing analysis through generations.

How about if a book by an author is transferred into a screenplay by the same author? This is a very important distinction to consider, a book being transferred from one medium to another medium, not translated, or adapted, but rather transferred. This is precisely what Midnight’s Children is: a film written for screen by Mr. Rushdie himself and directed by Ms. Mehta.



Harish Rao is a member of the Orange County Shambhala group. Harish