Unmistaken Child


This sensitive and riveting documentary from Israeli filmmaker Nati Baratz follows a Nepalese Buddhist monk’s quest to meet and anoint the reincarnation of a world-renowned master he’d served since the age of 7. Now in his late 20s, the disciple, though inherently kind and amazingly wide open to himself, isn’t sure he’s up to the task. So his search will be a way to come of age. Baratz leaves it to us to decide whether the selected child’s anointment is indeed miraculous or dangerously meddlesome (we should ask ourselves why this particular chronicle is so much easier to watch than, say, Jesus Camp), but as history, and Martin Scorsese’s Kundun, reminds us, such a ritual is how it all began for the Dalai Lama himself. Both reverential and humanizing, Unmistaken Child is a portrait of faith as a mode of grief and loving gratitude. If digital video isn’t adequate to fully resolve its most sublime imagery, well, neither are human eyes.

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