Werner Herzog's Wheel of Time, a documentary film ostensibly about the two Kalachakra initiation ceremonies in 2002, has a 94% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 7.1 rating at IMDb . . . with good reason. The film is as quirky as are all of Herzog's documentaries, and beautifully filmed, as is also true of his work over the last 20 years.
Wheel of Time is a 2003 documentary film by German director Werner Herzog about Tibetan Buddhism. The title refers to the Kalachakra sand mandala that provides a recurring image for the film.
The film documents the two Kalachakra initiations of 2002, presided over by the fourteenth Dalai Lama. The first, in Bodhgaya India, was disrupted by the Dalai Lama’s illness. Later that same year, the event was held again, this time without disruption, in Graz, Austria. The film’s first location is the Bodhgaya, the site of the Mahabodhi Temple and the Bodhi tree. Herzog then turns to the pilgrimage at Mount Kailash, after which the film then focuses on the second gathering in Graz.
Herzog includes a personal interview with the Dalai Lama, as well as Tibetan former political prisoner Takna Jigme Zangpo, who served 37 years in a Chinese prison for his support of the International Tibet Independence Movement.