The great strength of Jennifer Fox’s documentaries is her directness, and considering that her best-known work, “Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman,” is longitudinal in the extreme, a six-hour survey of her romantic life and the lives of women she meets across three years, from the ages of forty-two to forty-five, and her “My Reincarnation” (2010) encompasses twenty years of experience, it’s certainly a virtue. In “Reincarnation,” Fox has personal connection to Tibetan Buddhist master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, for whom she was working as a secretary when she met his Italian-born son in 1989. The father-son dynamic when Yeshi opts out of the family business—to reject his “destiny” as a reincarnation of a late uncle, a revered teacher—offers Fox a chance to examine a range of culture and conflict while encompassing other personalities, including the Dalai Lama. There’s much to contemplate in the dogged, understated “My Reincarnation’s” brief running time, but there is clarity in sufficient measure. 82m. (Ray Pride)
“My Reincarnation” opens Friday at Facets for two weeks.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.