Smith Rafael Film Center - International Buddhist Film Festival


Date: Sunday, June 10, 2018

Time: 4:15 pm

Phone: (415) 454-1222 Info-Line for Showtimes

June 10th: ZEN FOR NOTHING - In Person:  Filmaker Werner Penzel & Zesho Susan O'Connell, SF Zen Center

The title may be provocative, but this masterful documentary immerses us in life at a Japanese Zen monastery over three seasons of a year. Swiss novice Sabine arrives at Antaiji and her learning process begins: how to bow, sit, move, behave. But there’s more to life in the monastery than meditation, farming and maintenance—there are also picnics, music and Wi-Fi! Beautifully photographed, this film could be described as Into Great Silence meets Enlightenment Guaranteed, with Oakland-based composer Fred Frith performing an elegant score. In Japanese and German with English subtitles. Director: Werner Penzel. (Germany/Japan 2016) 100 min. plus discussion.

June 17th: HONEYGIVER AMONG THE DOGS - In Person: Gaetano Kazuo Maida & Skype with Filmmaker Dechan Roder

The first feature by Bhutanese Dechen Roder is her feminist twist on film noir. It’s also a beautiful and provocative journey into contemporary Bhutan, the last Buddhist kingdom, making the case that a creative cinema community is growing there. When the abbess of a Buddhist nunnery goes missing, policeman Kinley gets on the case, and his number one suspect is sexy Choden, who regales him with legends about enlightened female deities fighting social oppression. He dismisses her stories as “rumors,” given that he eyes Buddhist murals with suspicion rather than awe. In Dzongkha with English subtitles. Camera: Jigme Tenzing. Writer/Director: Dechen Roder. (Bhutan 2016) 132 min.

June 24th: My Son Tenzin - In Person: Filmmaker Tashi Wangchuk & Actor/Musician Tsering Bawa

This Bay Area production in English is a warm-hearted and clear-eyed look at life in exile for a new generation of Tibetans separated from their homeland by more than distance. Tsering Dorjee Bawa (who will also give an live performance of Tibetan songs) stars as a monk who arrives in the US in search of his grown son Tenzin, sent away years earlier to get an education. Co-director Wangchuk is a veteran radio producer for Voice of America Tibetan, and he brings to his film an intimate knowledge of the dilemmas of the exiled confronting cultural, political, familial and spiritual challenges. Directors: Tsultrim Dorjee, Tashi Wangchuk. (US 2017) 70 min. plus music performance and discussion.

Additional Location or Other Information

$15 General, $13 Seniors & Youth, $10 CFI Members. Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, 1118 Fourth St., San Rafael CA 94901