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SUBJECTS — World/Tibet & China; Religions;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Rebellion; Leadership;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Trustworthiness.
Age: 13+; MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for violent images); Drama; 1997; 128 minutes.
Kundun is the story of the 14th Dalai Lama, from the "discovery" of his "reincarnation" at age two until his self-exile in India after the Chinese occupation of Tibet. Before he reaches maturity, the Dalai Lama is placed at the head of his small, undeveloped and very religious country. He must contend with the surging strength and territorial ambitions of China, a newly unified and invigorated great power.
The film shows how the boy grows to be a young man, trying to do what is right and serve his people, while resisting the Chinese through nonviolence. The film also shows some of the superstitions and practices of Tibetan Buddhism.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to Kundun will assist teachers in introducing Tibet, its relationship with China, and the Dalai Lama.
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Kundun is the sanctioned film biography of the 14th Dalai Lama who fled Tibet to avoid being turned into a puppet by the Chinese government.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To demonstrate how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to improve lesson plans, we have set out below a paragraph from the Learning Guide to Kundun.
In 1998 the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. The citation reads:
The Committee wants to emphasize the fact that the Dalai Lama in his struggle for the liberation of Tibet consistently has opposed the use of violence. He has instead advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people.
The Dalai Lama has developed his philosophy of peace from a great reverence for all things living and upon the concept of universal responsibility, embracing all mankind as well as nature.
The Learning Guide to the film Kundun contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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