Science and religion are subjects that rarely ever meet, let alone have anything in common. It’s said that the difference between scientists and theologians is that theologians have all the answers and scientists are still looking. So, it may surprise people that The Dalai Lama has been interested in science ever since he was a child.
The Dalai Lama: Scientist is a documentary that looks at the way that his holiness sees the world through both science and religion and attempts to put the two together to make sense of the wider world.
Through interviews with his holiness himself and footage from interviews and discussions between scientists and The Dalai Lama, The Dalai Lama: Scientist explores in intricate detail the different aspects of both science and religion through subjects such as quantum physics, neurobiology and Buddhist philosophy.
After a short, but interesting interview with his holiness the documentary soon goes into the various discussions between some of the world’s most renowned scientists and The Dalai Lama. Unfortunately, this takes up the bulk of the documentary and there’s a lot to take in for an audience who are looking for a casual and uplifting documentary about two very different views of life finding a connection.
The documentary is narrated very dryly, only talking about what The Dalai Lama has said and done, with very little room for his holiness to speak for himself. It’s only through the discussions that the audience gets a true feeling of his personality, his presence and the devotion that his followers have for him.
There are also a lot of moments during the documentary where it briefly stops to put up cards with bullet points, making the documentary feel more like an educational video for a class, making the audience feel like a student in a class rather than an adult interested in the subject.
It would have perhaps been more interesting to hear more about how science has influenced The Dalai Lama’s life personally, but it seems that the documentary has a set quota to fill. So, before the audience has time to contemplate the points raised by the parts of the documentary, it moves on.
The Dalai Lama: Scientist may be interesting for those students studying philosophy, science or theology, but for an audience looking to absorb more about one of the world’s most respected religious leaders, it gives the audience far too much all at once with little time to breathe.
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