Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Reminder: "Amongst White Clouds" Today

The Department of Religious Studies

University of Pittsburgh


A Special Documentary Screening and Meet the Director

Amongst White Clouds

China’s Forgotten Hermit Tradition

Directed by Edward A. Burger

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

4:00 PM, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

American director Edward A. Burger takes us on his unforgettable journey into the hidden lives of China’s forgotten Buddhist hermit tradition. Amongst White Clouds is an unprecedented look at the lives of zealot students, gaunt ascetics and wise masters living in isolated hermitages dotting the peaks and valleys of China’s Zhongnan Mountain range.

The Zhongnan Mountains have been home to recluses since the time of the Yellow Emperor, some five thousand years ago. Many of China's most realized Buddhist masters attained enlightenment in this very range. And now? It is widely thought that this tradition was all but wiped out by the twists and turns of history. Amongst White Clouds shows us this is not the case.

One of only a few foreigners to have lived and studied with these hidden sages, Ted Burger reveals to us their tradition, their wisdom, and the hardship and joy of their everyday lives. With both humor and compassion, these inspiring and warmhearted characters challenge us to join them in an exploration of our own suffering and enlightenment in this modern world.

Official Selection: Mill Valley Film Festival, Taos Mountain Film Festival, Denver Starz Film Festival (2005); True False Film Festival, Maui Film Festival, Tahoe/Reno Film Festival (2006)

Narration in English with English subtitles. Running time: 86 minutes.

For more information: www.amongstclouds.com

About the Director: Edward Burger received a BA in Religion from the College of Wooster, Ohio, and headed to India to study in a Buddhist monastery. Upon reading Bill Porter’s Road to Heaven, which told of an ancient hermit tradition in China, and learning that this tradition was still alive in China today, Burger headed for China, learned Chinese, worked with a London-based film company, and went seeking a master. Finding a hermit is not easy. Burger set out into rural central China following mountain trails and looking for smoke from huts and asking around. Amongst White Clouds is the result of a five-year (and continuing) master-disciple relationship and a special inside look at the Buddhist hermit tradition in the mountains of Zhongnan in central China.

Cosponsored by the Asian Studies Center of the University Center for International Studies, the China Council, Office of Undergraduate Studies of the School of Arts and Sciences, Cultural Studies and Film Studies of the University of Pittsburgh.


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