Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Unmistaken Child 

Wednesday, Jun 24 2009
Israeli documentarian Nati Baratz’s Unmistaken Child is a drama of faith, about a Tibetan monk’s search for the reincarnation of his beloved master Lama Konchog. This long march, which lasted over three years, seems confined to Nepal and northern India; the discreet filmmakers never mention whether they’ve crossed the border into Tibet. The disciple “interviews” an assortment of 18-month-old potential masters, employing a mystical calculus based on signs, dreams, and instances of recognition. (It’s clear that intelligence, good nature, and agreeable parents are also prerequisites.) In the movie’s key scene, the designated toddler chooses Lama Konchog’s sacred bell, beads, and hand drum out of a lineup of similar artifacts—with a swift sureness that put me in mind of kids playing with a Ouija board. The child is surrounded by chuckling monks, and the process happens very quickly. Skeptic that I am, I’d loved to have seen the action slowed down and the body language analyzed to reveal how the little Buddha’s choices were cued.
June 26-July 2, 2009

About The Author

J. Hoberman


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"