WORDS OF MY PERFECT TEACHER
From the World Cup to the mythical mountain kingdom of Bhutan, Words of My Perfect Teacher follows three students on a quest they hope will lead to wisdom. The catch is their teacher -- who confounds their expectations at every turn. As one of his devoted students ponders: "If he's enlightened, why doesn't he act like an enlightened being?"
Khyentse Norbu Rinpoche is a soccer-obsessed, enormously charismatic citizen of the world, and a filmmaker (he directed The Cup and Travelers and Magicians) under the tutelage of Bernardo Bertolucci. He is also one of the world's most eminent Buddhist teachers--a job description he slyly rejects at every turn. Born in Bhutan and recognized as a tulku -- an important reincarnation -- at the age of seven, this lama is considered a big deal. His guidance is sought after by Buddhists around the world.
In this film, he seems to delight in being illusive, and in frustrating the filmmakers as they follow him around the globe. It’s almost as if he’s playing a game and he’s the only one who knows the rules. There is something playful, charismatically mysterious and challenging, about this very contemporary man who seems to mock the expectations heaped upon him while at the same time being completely serious in carrying out his duties.
This film is as much about his students' experience as it is about Rinpoche himself. In this respect, it goes beyond a biographical study and becomes more of a meditation on the all-important student-teacher relationship. It’s possible that by the end of this film you too will want to seek him out as your perfect teacher.
Featuring appearances by Bernardo Bertolucci, Gesar Mukpo and Steven Seagal. Filmed on location in the UK, Bhutan, Canada, the US, and Germany. Music by Sting, Tara Slone and Joydrop, Steve Tibbetts, u:man:tek, Kunga 19, and others.