The Buddhist concept of reincarnation, while both mysterious and intriguing, is hard for most Westerners, particularly those of us who subscribe to a Christian worldview, to grasp. That’s why this educational film is so important. ‘Unmistaken Child’ follows the four year search for the reincarnation of Lama Konchog, a world-renowned Tibetan master who passed away in 2001 at age 84. The Dalai Lama charges the deceased monk’s devoted disciple, Tenzin Zopa (who had been in his service since the age of seven), to search for his master’s reincarnation. Tenzin sets off on this unforgettable quest by foot, on a mule and even via helicopter, through breathtakingly beautiful landscapes and remote Tibetan villages. Along the way Tenzin meets numerous young children with special characteristics, and together with a number of more senior Tibetan monks, performs rarely seen ritualistic tests designed to determine the probability of reincarnation as they see it. He eventually presents the child he believes to be his reincarnated master to the Dalai Lama so that he can make the final decision; the film then follows their developing relationship.
‘Unmistaken Child‘ is beautifully and sensitively filmed – it is at times funny, moving and very emotional. Do take the time to watch this film; you’ll be glad you did. For those of us who are Christians, it can certainly help foster and inform our inter-faith understandings.