The best-looking film I saw at AFI Dallas this year was the gorgeously photographed documentary Buddha's Lost Children. Fortunately, the subject matter is equally as absorbing as the imagery. The film is about the Golden Horse Monastery and the monk who runs it, Khru Bah. He travels throughout the Golden Triangle region of Thailand, bringing villagers food and supplies donated through the monastery, and often returning with boys whose best hope of a successful life is through joining the monastery as novices. The Golden Triangle villagers are often poor and many suffer from problems related to drug addiction. He is assisted by Khun Eud, a nun who believes strongly in Khru Bah's causes.
Khru Bah's monastery also takes care of horses, many of which are rescued from slaughterhouses. The novices and monks all have horses to care for and ride, and the boys learn how to take care of themselves as well as the animals. Many of Khru Bah's ideas on raising and educating children are reflected in his treatment of horses. The novices also all learn how to box, since Khru Bah was a championship boxer in Thailand until he joined the monastic order in 1990.