MY REINCARNATION “follows Chögyal Namkhai Norbu’s rise to greatness as a Buddhist teacher in the West, while his son, Yeshi, recognized at birth as the reincarnation of a famous spiritual master, breaks away from his father’s tradition to embrace the modern world. Can the father convince his son to keep the family’s threatened spiritual legacy alive? Never before has a high Tibetan Master allowed such complete access to his private life and it is doubtful that another ever will. With her signature intimate entry to both family and icons including the Dalai Lama, award-winning documentary filmmaker Jennifer Fox expertly distills a decades-long drama into a universal story about love, transformation, and destiny.” [Official website description]
Jennifer Fox met the Buddhist spiritual scholar/teacher Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche in 1985 when she was 25 years old. Three years later, taking time off from filmmaking, she worked as his secretary over a four-year period. Unable to completely put her vocation aside, she filmed Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and his family “from an insider’s perspective.” But the world of documentary filmmaking beckoned once more and she put aside this early footage, occasionally filming her teacher over the intervening years. It wasn’t until the early 21st century that she was encouraged to return to the subject of Namkhai Norbu, this time with the extra impetus of his approaching the end of this incarnation. Plus, a new twist gave her proposed film some intriguing tension: Chögyal Namkhai Norbu’s son, Yeshi, had settled into a corporate job in Italy with a wife and child. All this talk of his being the reincarnation of his great-uncle, an important Buddhist master, was of no interest to the acculturated young man. But then as his father approached his final years of life, something in Yeshi changed and he began to reconsider this powerful spiritual, cultural, and familial bond with Tibet. With that, Jennifer Fox knew that she had the core elements of a fascinating film, one which would take her and us on an amazing journey of discovery.
Jennifer Fox was last in Austin with the three-day screening of her epic documentary FLYING: CONFESSIONS OF A FREE WOMAN (2006), a free-ranging exploration of women’s views about love/sex/relationships in various countries. Her first movie, BEIRUT: THE LAST HOME MOVIE (1987), won awards at Sundance and various other festivals. She produced, directed and shot the groundbreaking ten-hour PBS series AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY (1999), which followed the lives of an interracial couple and their children.
Original music by Jan Tilman Schade
Edited by Sabine Krayenbühl
USA, 2011, Blu-ray, color, 82 min.
English/Italian/Tibetan with English subtitles
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 7 PM
Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar (1120 S Lamar)
Tickets: $8 General Admission, $5 AFS Members & Students with Valid ID
Official MY REINCARNATION Website
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