I have a real liking for non-narrative films that just show their subjects in their surroundings, and do not guide you how to think and feel about what you are seeing. This film follows a pilgrimage made by a group of Buddhist monks walking from the Papae Meditation Retreat to the Pai International Meditation Retreat center over a 5 day period.
What impresses the most is how down to earth the whole pilgrimage is, with the monks walking long distances along sometimes dirt roads, and at other times highways, as they slowly make progress towards their destination. Meanwhile they are surrounded by nature, and can see the life of the countryside.
A lot of care has to be taken on this pilgrimage, as although the above sounds quite idyllic, the journey in the heat of day, sometimes in remote areas has its own difficulties, and the monks, and the lay people who accompany them, have to look after themselves, going for alms, washing robes and building fires.
Still the overall impression is, in what is increasingly violent and hectic times, that these sorts of difficulties are ones worth overcoming, and leave one feeling alive and in touch again. Along they way they stop to pay homage to various Buddha statues and Chedis, and also sit in beautiful surroundings for meditation.
The film was made by one of monks, Phra Nick Keomahavong, and I will show a few other films from the same filmmaker over the coming weeks.
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