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1,740 Ratings


Directed by Martin Scorsese
United States, 1997


The film follows the leader Tenzin, Tibet’s 14th Dalai Lama, from his confirmation as the resurrection of the Dalai Lama at age two up to his 24th year, when he was exiled from his homeland following the 1959 invasion of Tibet by Communist China.

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Kundun Directed by Martin Scorsese

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1998 | 4 nominations including: Best Art Direction-Set Decoration

Golden Globes (USA)

1998 | Nominee: Best Original Score - Motion Picture

New York Film Critics Circle Awards

1997 | Winner: Best Cinematographer

Critics reviews

[In The Last Temptation of Christ,] Scorsese’s Jesus is effectively pursued by God; throughout the film, he’s hounded by voices, invisible figures, and agonizing pain. The Dalai Lama is pursued by tradition, ritual, and revelation: Kundun is filled with beautifully filmed depictions of elaborate Tibetan ceremonies, dream sequences, and apparitions, all set to Philip Glass’s ethereal, pointedly repetitive score. It might be Scorsese’s most stylized work.
December 30, 2016
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For me at least, whenever memory alighted upon Kundun in these intervening years, the sensations were poignant and intense: the lush golds and crimsons, the dreamlike dissolves and dollies, the transporting drone of Philip Glass’s score. From our vantage, it seems less a curveball now than a natural entry in one of the most eclectic filmographies in American cinema.
October 15, 2014
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