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  Words of My Perfect Teacher
by Lesley Ann Patten



A film by Lesley Ann Patten

Featuring: Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Norbu Rinpoche, Bernardo Bertolucci, Steven Seagal

With music by Sting

Canada, Color, 103 minutes, 35mm

::  35mm film rental: $350 | DVD: $250
::  DVD Purchase (with public performance license): $295
::  find a theatre near you
::  link to official website

From the World Cup to the mythical mountain kingdom of Bhutan, Words of My Perfect Teacher follows three students on a quest for wisdom. The only catch is the teacher. Soccer obsessed, charismatic filmmaker and citizen of the world, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche may be one of the world’s most eminent Buddhist teachers, but it’s a job description he slyly rejects at every turn.

Featuring appearances by Bernardo Bertolucci and Steven Seagal. Filmed in the UK, Bhutan, Canada, the US, and the World Cup playoffs in Germany. Set to a world beat with music by Sting, Tara Slone & Joy Drop, Steve Tibbets, U.Man.Tek, Kunga 19, and others. Words of My Perfect Teacher is for those who wish they’d met Yoda or Merlin, and long for the opportunity to engage with a teacher who defies convention.

Words of My Perfect Teacher was made during the course of a year that included attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, months of tension as India and Pakistan went to the brink of nuclear war, a stock market drop that plunged the world to new depths of economic uncertainty, and the US war on Iraq.

If ever there was a time to inspire students to "wake up" and learn the wisdom necessary to engage in compassionate activity, this was that year. The film’s point of view is inspired by Buddhist philosophy — which says that we can’t really change human behavior until we learn to deal with our mind. The mind is the starting point of all suffering and the source of closed hearts and entrenched views. Buddhist philosophy also says that to study the mind and walk a path toward enlightenment, you need a teacher.

Though filmmaker Lesley Ann Patten sets out to make a film about her teacher, Khyentse Norbu, he soon turns the tables, and the film becomes part of the filmmaker’s own quest for spiritual growth. Words of My Perfect Teacher lets us share this quest as we accompany Patten on a delightful and intimate adventure.

"Delightful. An adventure lovingly captured. Gosh-awful fun." – Toronto Star

"Truly charming." – Toronto Globe and Mail

"Lively and funny. You have to love a filmmaker who gets Bernardo Bertolucci and Steven Seagal in the same movie." – Vancouver Sun

"Funny, brave, illuminating, adventurous and beautifully photographed." – The Chronicle Herald

"Warm and funny. Impressive." – Halifax Daily News

"I’m surprised how I still need to dent the bumper of vanity."
– Khyentse Norbu quoted in Tricycle after seeing Words of My Perfect Teacher.

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