June 28, 2009
A 30-minute documentary on Stephen Batchelor's life and work aired on Dutch television in April of last year. I happened to be staying with Stephen and his wife, Martine, at their home near Bordeaux, shortly before the film aired. They hadn't seen it yet, so we watched it together on the computer in Stephen's office. The documentary takes its title from Stephen's most well-known work, Buddhism Without Beliefs, which Tricycle published in partnership with Riverhead Books in 1996. Stephen was writing the book when I first met him, so it was great to see and hear about his life before then. The film features Stephen's teachings and artwork and offers a peek into the Batchelors' daily life.
The documentary, made by Jurgen Gude and Jaap Verhoeven for the Boeddhistische Omroep Stichtung (BOS), is in English with Dutch subtitles. You can see Buddhism Without Beliefs at the Batchelors website. (BOS's program director, Babeth vanLoo, visited Tricycle's offices in May and will appear in the August issue. Most recently, Babeth directed Inner Voice, a documentary on Meredith Monk, which premiered at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City last May.)