Simple Minds, Simple Pleasures

A review of the movie “Unmistaken Child,” directed and produced by Nati Baratz,  Ilil Alexander and Arik Bernstein.

I am not a Buddhist Philosophy connoisseur, but this movie touched me so deeply I might as well tell my Jewish family I want to join a Monastery in Tibet and become a Monk tomorrow.

Now, before my dad finds out and threatens to kill me, let me tell you why I suddenly feel this way.

photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of

As Westerners, we live according to logic and necessity. We often worry about the minuscules and most insignificant things that are making our lives “a living hell,” such as our postman delivering us the wrong mail or our mother-in-law not wanting to babysit our children so that we have to miss our favorite Yoga class. We are so entrenched in our daily “worries” that when the real problems, such as the death of a loved one, arise, we weep, blame others for loss and feel helpless.

Well, in the Eastern Philosophy, instead, since life is intended as the pursuit of happiness as the most pure and sincere path to a calm and awaken mind, nothing is ever so terrible to change our state of being, not even the death of our dearest Master. Happiness, as His Holiness the 14th Daila Lama Tenzin Gyatso means it,  is a life’s pursuit and we, as human beeing, can train the “mind factor” to enhance happiness is our daily life for it to be present in every given situation, even the most difficult ones.

Well, Tenzin Zopa, the main protagonist of the “Unmistaken Child” is the perfect example of how once can train oneself to be happy no matter what.

“Our moment-to-moment happiness depends on our outlook on life…how we perceive our situation,” said His Holiness in his interview with Doctor Howard C. Cutler, the author of the book “The Art of Happiness.” And Tenzin Zopa is let to face such necessity when his life-long leacher Lama Konchog suddenly dies and he is asked to find the child in which his Master reincarnated into. Tenzin Zopa is devastated, but he recognizes his life’s pursuit of happiness is to embark in such journey.

He has to leave and find the new Lama because that is the only way he will be happy again. He believes in fact to be born for such greater deed. This does not mean there is not doubt or hesitation in his mind. He is scared he will disappoint his superior leaders, including the Daila Lama, but he is so focused on finding where his deceased Master’s soul had gone hiding that he is willing to look in each children’s eyes to find him. 

Now, do you see us in this world taking up such a task in the complete, pitch dark? Well, maybe. But, to make this our life purpose? I do not think so. We rather become lawyers, famous journalists or money-making doctors. But is this our interpretation of the “pursuit of happiness” or is it our ego prevailing over our true desire?

No matter which one as far as we are not disappointed if we end up becoming someone else and we stay positive in search for that “deep happiness” we may survive. BUt to live in peace, we might consider following Tenzin Zopa’s quest as an example. His journey is defiantly inspiring that way: He put his life on hold for four years to find the new Lama and whether he finds him or not, he find the true prize–enlightenment– is in the journey.

Now, do we have to believe reincarnation to enjoy the movie? Not at all, just go with an open mind and be ready to experience some jealousy for such serene presence and wonderful mountain scenarios. Now, if you feel overwhelmed with your “not-so-meaningful life” afterword, then the movie’s role was accomplished.

Enjoy 🙂

5 thoughts on “Simple Minds, Simple Pleasures

  1. mmurphy says:

    I recall that there was a comment from Chip that was removed from the site. I find this to be incredibly hypocritical of you. I’m sure as a journalist you know that freedom of the press and the publication of criticism, even criticism that you don’t agree with, is crucial to the functioning of a vibrant democracy. Could your propensity for stifling the thoughts and opinions of your loyal readers have its origin in Italy’s tradition of press censorship? Freedom House ranked the Italian press as one of the least free of any press in Europe, according to a 2006 study.
    Italy’s levels of press censorship is on par with countries like Mexico, India, Brazil, and Turkey.
    Berlusconi would be proud of your repression of dissent. Maybe he’ll have a job waiting for you back in Rome where you can silence Italian popular dissent. I hear they are hiring for the new thought police commissioner position.

    • HERE IS CHIP’S Comment again:

      What is your objective with “Federicaville”? The proclamation that you are a “journalist” is outlandish. These short entries substantively resemble diary entries, rather than astute social commentary. What is more readily gleaned from your work are insights into your own personal life. Well nuanced ruminations of the world we live in remain elusive.
      A particular problem that presents itself in all your work is this: because your argumentation is filled with emotive appeals, and you interject yourself too deeply in your analysis, a person responding to your column must confront your personal life, rather than engaging with the issues. Essentially, your narcissism gets in the way of serious analysis. As readers we are put into an uncomfortable situation of wanting to post a thoughtful response, yet feeling repulsed by your blatant self promotion. You write with the pretense of speaking for all when really you speak for yourself.


  2. And here is my answer to both of you:

    For Chip:
    The objective of “Federicaville,” as the French word states “The city of Federica,” is to be a place for Federica (myself) to post her reactions to news articles, movies, news events, but to also tell the world what she is thinking, feeling and discovering is her life as a reporter/photographers/person/European woman…I would not call it a diary, but if that term makes you happy, you may name it that way.

    As the definition of a BLOG, “Federicaville” is a place for me to shed my objective reporter coat and give my opinion on any subject matter. Being my BLOG, the subject matter is mine to chose. I accept criticism and I honor your comment, but I truly do not care if you LIKE or NOT LIKE what I write.

    I do not feel I am hurting anyone by expressing what I want on MY BLOG. I write articles with factual proofs in newspapers and magazines and you can find my journalistic endeavors under the Print link on my Blog if you want to see why I call myself a Journalist.

    BTW, My argumentation are “filled with emotive appeals,” because are my reactions to life’s events, nobody else’s and are not meant to be a general statement about the entire world, but my perception of things.

    What I do not understand is: If you feel so “repulse by my self promotion,” why do you d read me and comment of my blog.

    In any case, could you tell me who you are and what you do? I am curious to know where your insights about my narcissistic persona come from? Are you a blogger yourself or maybe a journalist.


  3. Mr. “Murphy” (aka Chip?),

    This is a personal site where I share my observations about the world. Although I am a journalist, this is not a journalism site, it’s a personal blog. I would think you could tell the difference, but if you’re confused, perhaps I have failed to make that clear enough.

    Since this is a personal blog, I reserve the right to monitor comments and remove those that are inappropriate. As to your Berlusconi comments, I don’t feel the need to justify them.

    From your writing style, I assume this was written by “Chip.” Whoever the author, I hope you’ll continue to read my blog if you find it interesting. If not, consider reading someone else’s.


  4. murph says:

    I suppose blogs can either be toward the personal side or detached side. I didn’t know you were going for a personal reflection here. I apologize for the insensitivity of my comment. Your honesty and genuineness is admirable. In the future I will read with that in mind. It is refreshing to get something impassioned and personal in an age of noncommittal anonymity. Best of luck. Keep these types of pieces coming.

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