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Lois Patiño | 2023 | 113 MINS
Spain | Subtitles
International Panorama: Laos/Spain

In the temples of Laos, teenage monks accompany a soul in transit from one body to another through the bardo. A luminous and sonorous journey leads to reincarnate on the beaches of Zanzibar.

★★★★ Guardian

Please note that this film has been flagged with a photosensitive epilepsy warning

In Detail

In Buddhist philosophy, the word ‘samsara’ refers to the nature of life as a cycle of deaths and rebirths. It is this process that Lois Patiño evokes to breathtaking effect in a film with a triptych structure that follows a soul from the body of Mon (Simone Milavanh), an elderly woman in Laos, and later into the form of a baby goat in Zanzibar.

Every morning, a Buddhist teenager visits Mon’s home to read her The Bardo Thödol, a guide for the journey between death and the next rebirth. On her last day, the young man whispers the book's final passages in her ear, closes his eyes, and meditates alongside her, as she embarks on a transformative journey into what lies beyond. This is a voyage that probes spiritual and cinematic boundaries to create a deeply moving meditation on what happens after we die and is, at times, a transcendent experience.

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