Cold Mountain

A creative documentary portrait of the Chinese poet Han Shan.

Read poems by Han Shan

See the start of the film



Han Shan by Soga Sho-haku/Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Cold Mountain is a half hour film portrait of the Tang Dynasty Chinese poet Han Shan, a.k.a. Cold Mountain. Recorded on location in China, America and Japan, Burton Watson, Red Pine, Jim Lenfestey and the legendary Gary Snyder describe the poet's life and recite poems.

A trickster, Han Shan wrote poems for everyone, not just the educated elite. A man free of spiritual doctrine, it is unclear whether or not he was a monk, whether he was a Buddhist or a Taoist, or both. It is not even certain he ever lived, but the poems do.

Co-directed by Mike Hazard and Deb Wallwork, the music is by the internationally renowned pipa player Gao Hong and animations are by John Akre. The film has been supported by the Outagamie Foundation, the family of John W. Brower and the Bush Foundation.
The Butterfly Woman is a hermit nun who lives in the cave where Han Shan lived. Photo Media Mike

Deb Wallwork writes, "Cold Mountain is a rollicking, tasty film filled with poetry, colorful characters, Zen wisdom and witty commentary. The film gives us glimpses of that mysterious--some say crazy, some say enlightened--figure, Han Shan, who left the dusty world to become a hermit and a poet, and in so doing wrote the intimate and inspired lines that speak to us today."

The film will engage people interested in poetry, China, Zen, Taoism and other spiritual pursuits.

Praises and Prizes

Best of Fest at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival

"The video is beautifully done. Amazing shooting of amazing scenery of China, I watched it twice." --George Stoney, filmmaker

"Wonderful message for us all--from Cold Mountain, Gary Snyder and others. I enjoyed the use of animation in the poem reading. The camera did an excellent job in an interesting way." --Robert Gardner, filmmaker

Read poems by Han Shan.

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