Archives / 2000 Sundance Film Festival

Chasing Buddha

Director: Amiel Courtin-Wilson

Screenwriters: Amiel Courtin-Wilson

Institute History

  • 2000 Sundance Film Festival

Description

An Australian expatriate, ex-Catholic, and ex-leftist radical with a penchant for speeding, espresso coffee, and four-letter profanities, Robina Courtin hardly seems a likely candidate for a Buddhist nun. And yet, since her conversion over twenty years ago, Robina has traveled the globe, teaching her very unique brand of Buddhism to an international following of passionate devotees. With a machine-gun style and indomitable stamina, perhaps Robina’s greatest commitment is to the eighty prisoners with whom she corresponds across the United States (including a number of death-row inmates in the Kentucky State Penitentiary). In steering her students along the path to enlightenment, she finds inspiration for her own spiritual practice and a way to grapple with the traumatic events that prompted her ordination.

In his inspired first film, Chasing Buddha, Amiel Courtin-Wilson (who happens to be Robina’s nephew) provides an intimate portrait of a unique individual whose own search for inner peace helps guide others to transcend their arduous circumstances. A film that is at once witty and wise, Chasing Buddha is a deserved tribute to a fascinating subject and extraordinary woman.

— Rebecca Yeldham

Screening Details

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