Movies with Dharma themes

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Griffin, modified 2 Months ago.

Movies with Dharma themes

Posts: 139 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
Have you watched any good movies that had themes deeply related to the Dharma or you just felt some kind of artistically alluring Dharmic “vibe” (regardless of whether movie creators had any knowledge about Buddhism)?

For example, Groundhog Day (samsara, rebirth), Big Lebowski (equanimity, Daoist wu wei), Matrix (emptiness), Mulholland Drive (emptiness), Being There (beginners mind, no-self), Westworld (no-self, agencylessness)…
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

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The Truman Show (life is orchestrated)

​​​​​​​Mosquito Coast (absurdity of trying to live a minimalist life)
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Griffin, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

Posts: 139 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
Truman show is one of my favorites.... And also Shutter Island and Mulholland Drive. You can see the pattern emoticon 
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Helen Pohl, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

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The Thin Red Line(1998) was at least to me a deeply spiritual experience.
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J W, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

Posts: 374 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
I feel like there's been a lot of Dharma inspired (direct or tangentially) film lately!
(Or maybe I've just started to naturally gravitate towards those themes emoticon)

A few recent ones:
Tenet (timelessness/time-travel)
Dark (more christian imagery in this one, also time-travel)
His Dark Materials (this one is really overt)
Devs

...feel like there's some others i can't think of right now
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Chris Marti, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

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​​​​​​​The Razor's Edge
Groundhog Day
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Brandon Dayton, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

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Looks like there are two versions of Razo'rs Edge. Which do you recommend?
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Chris Marti, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

Posts: 3864 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Looks like there are two versions of Razo'rs Edge. Which do you recommend?

My recommendation is to read the book, then watch both movies. in chronological order.
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Brandon Dayton, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

Posts: 451 Join Date: 9/24/19 Recent Posts
I've got to read something now? I thought the Dharma was suppossed to be fun.
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Brandon Dayton, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

Posts: 451 Join Date: 9/24/19 Recent Posts
I'm sure others will jump out to me, but one that I have been thinking a lot about lately is Take Shelter. I watched it about a year before I got serious about meditation (about the same time I read A Wizard of Earthsea oddly enough) and I was totally mesmerized by it. With more experience I can see it has a definite Dark Night to Equanimity vibe, particularly the final scene. Lots of little details that have Dharma overlap.

I've also been watching Stephen Universe with the kids lately and there is some interesting 6 realms stuff going on there.
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Griffin, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

Posts: 139 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
At the beginning of Take Shelter (spoilers ahead) I excepted a movie about an "external" catastrophe and the misterious prophecies that annouce it. However, it soon became apparent that it's a story about an "internal" disaster, and for two hours we watched how a man's life is coming apart due to a mental illness. Not an easy experience. I was suprised by the ending though, totally unexpected and ambiguous.
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Brandon Dayton, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

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That final scene recontextualizes the entire movie.
Jim, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

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Pixar's Soul, finding joy in the present.
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

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21 Grams (guy has a relationship with widow of his heart donor)
Daniel Slaney, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

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Joe vs. The Volcano.
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Emil Jensen, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

Posts: 238 Join Date: 7/16/20 Recent Posts
How about "V for vandetta"?

It's one of my favorite movies. You both get to fall in love (again) with Natalie Portman, and...
Idk if it qualifies as Dhamma-themed, probably not, but she goes through a very transformative journey of spiritual sort, which ends in "ultimate freedom" or something like that. Very cool, I rate it a solid 5/7!
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SushiK, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

Posts: 113 Join Date: 6/11/20 Recent Posts
To fall in love (again again) with Natalie Portman you also have Black Swan.<br />Dhukka bringing 2 opposite psyche to fight each other until she finds unity and bliss somehow.<br /><br />Her mean of doing it isn't encourage, self-injury isn't a path, consult specialist if you notice black feathers growing on your skin.
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Emil Jensen, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

Posts: 238 Join Date: 7/16/20 Recent Posts
Ugh! Now I can't meditate because my mind has been disturbed by Natalie Portman 
Tim Farrington, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

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Emil, mind disturbed by Natalie Portman is actually not a disturbance, it is a realization. Technically speaking. Treat it like a rapture and move on.

Very responsible of you, Sushi, to print the fine print warning on growing black feathers. But usually by the time you notice the feathers, it's too late.

I have to say, a bit late this year, on great Dharma movies (seconding some discerning folks above): Groundhog Day, Groundhog Day, Groundhog Day.
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Emil Jensen, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

Posts: 238 Join Date: 7/16/20 Recent Posts
Wow, you're right! Natalie Portman, mixed with 4th jhana, mixed with a swig of the good ole ayahuasca brew - now THAT'S some makyo I'd like to lay my ignorance on
Sam Gentile, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

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Ok, I got to ask, why isn't the first Matrix on this list? There are plenty of Buddhist ideas in the movie with the character Morpheus and the unreality of the world, that we have to find the Universal Reality.
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Griffin, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

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I agree, in fact I mentioned it in the very first post emoticon
osokin *, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

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This fantastic thread has inspired me to dust off an annotated film list that I've periodically added to over many years.  Some movies mentioned in this thread are on it, while a few others I'm familiar with might find their way onto future updates.

It's attached as a PDF (I hope) — enjoy!
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Griffin, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

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Wow, cool list!
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Emil Jensen, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

Posts: 238 Join Date: 7/16/20 Recent Posts
I might add that the series "True Detective" and "Mr Robot" have some elements in their characters that make it seem like they're going through some pretty nasty dark night. I have only seen little of TD, but the main character seems to have AP happening every now and then over the years. And he's DN'in HARD!
Elliot in Mr Robot is having a super breakdown and really starts questioning his own identity. Actually that's a really, really big part of the plot throughout the entire story line.
He is even aware of the viewer of him: Us watching the series, and he recognizes us as some "observer" and talks to us during the series. Pretty crazy, but good series imo.

Osokin! What a long and cool list! I'll use it in the future I think emoticon
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Griffin, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

Posts: 139 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
(Spoler alert for Mr Robot)

My favorite moment:

"Elliot, I need you to tell me who do you think I am." (...) "I am your... sister"

*goosebumps*
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Too bad Mr Robot spoiled another great movie for me... (in fact in some ways the first season was a rip off of this odler movie).
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HouseOnFire, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Movies with Dharma themes

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I would submit the hilarious and underrated I Heart Huckabees for consideration. 

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