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BFFE: Xi You - Journey to the West

A Buddhist monk walks barefoot and incredibly slowly through Marseille – so slowly, that his progress is barely perceptible. Around him life in the city goes on... The film is inspired by the life of the Buddhist monk Xuanzang - traveler, translator and student.

This figure from the traditional China was in 602 AD. born and entered as a thirteen year old boy in the monastery. He later journeyed for 19 years through China and India in search of the sacred Buddhist scriptures. Nine centuries after his death, his travels were the inspiration for classic work Journey To The West written by Wu Cheng’en, written during the Ming Dynasty.

Conveyed exquisitely in just 14 beautiful shots, Journey to the West brings the legendary pilgrimage into the modern world and asks us to take time to look, and proposes that true enlightenment awaits those who endure.


Screened with:

The Red Door

A man wakes to the sound of water drops leaking from the sky of his bleak world. His only contact with the world comes through his mobile phone. He sets out on a journey, carrying a red door through a lush, green field, and onward through a maze of trees, never leaving the trodden path.

Crossing a bridge and a rugged and withering landscape he reaches a world of mute, standing stones. Finally he reaches the mountaintop. Exhausted, he opens the door, he enters, says “Mother, I am home” and goes to sleep. Maybe death is as mundane as opening a door.

Perhaps we never die; we only enter another world, entering into new life again and again without exiting. If there is reincarnation, then death is birth. 

Tashi Gyeltshen 
Bhutanese with English subtitles
15 min