Documentary

Samsara

Christian Mushenko’s evocative imagery captures the streets of Bangkok that Buddhists must negotiate in the pursuit of nirvana.

Samudaya – the cause or origin of suffering – craving, desire, attachment

Saṅkhāra-Dukkha – a basic unsatisfactory nature pervading all existence; because all forms of life are changing and impermanent

Nirodha – cessation of suffering by eliminating desire

The life of a Bangkok buddhist is one of endless painful cycles of rebirth. A perpetual wandering and a religious striving to eliminate all sensual craving amongst ever-present profanity, desire and attachment. Once there is no resistance to being in hell, heaven opens up and samsara reveals its true nature as nirvana. On the streets there is stoic resistance, a shocking detachment, karma for sale and moments of tenderness. It’s alien. But at the same time there’s a human sense of recognition and understanding.

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The photographer

Christian Mushenko

Spanning New York, London, Sydney and Asia, photographer/director Christian Mushenko has the same approach to shooting stills and motion: capturing authentic moments in a distinctive warm and emotive style.

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