Buddhas Painter| 43mins
Director: Thomas Gonschior | Producer: Thomas Gonschior
Focus Years: 2005 | Country: Germany
Throughout the world, Mongolians are regarded as a martial people still living in the shadow of Genghis Khan. But 400 years ago, brave Mongol warriors one-by-one swapped their weapons and armour for the red robes of monks in order to fight the real enemy within, not the presumed enemy outside.
One-third of the male population of Mongolia were ordained monks when the Communists took over the country in the 1930s. Central Mongolia alone had more than 700 Buddhist temples. Almost nothing survived the communist destruction, thousands of monks were massacred.
But Mongolian Buddhism and its art did not die. After seventy years of darkness, the phoenix of Mongolian Buddhist art is again stretching its wings in the form of Master Artist Purevbat and his disciples.
Purevbat is not only the most outstanding artist in Mongolia today, he also became a Buddhist monk. In 1993 he opened the 'Mongolian Institute of Buddhist Art'. The exterior of the school may still look shoddy, but internally it has the soul of the finest tantric art institute in the world.
Buddhist art demands not only a skilful hand, but also devotion and a deep knowledge of Buddhist philosophy. A Buddhist masterpiece is a silent teaching of the Buddha and a guiding path to enlightenment.
The film gives a glimpse of the Mongolian Buddhist heritage. It shows the devastation during the communist regime and finally highlights its renaissance through the work of Lama Purevbat and his students.
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