Shaolin: Wheel of Life (2001)
Have you ever done a handstand… on the tips of your index fingers? How about snapping iron bars over your head as if they were bread-sticks? You’ll witness these amazing feats and much more in this astonishing London performance of China’s legendary Shaolin monks. In perfecting their martial arts prowess, these devoted Buddhists have honed their physical and mental disciplines to such an uncommon degree that their movements seem almost supernaturally powerful. From the athletic contortions of a young acolyte to an older monk being hoisted aloft on the points of sharpened spears, these men and boys have conquered and crossed boundaries of control that would strike most outsiders as impossible if it weren’t for their living proof. In demonstrating these and other kung fu skills, the Shaolin also enact their history as an enduring order, providing a theatrical narrative that’s literally breathtaking.