Mike is a calm, corpulent tourist who enjoys the ordered lifestyle of a South American holiday resort so much he would like to stay there forever. An encounter with an octopus on the beach leads to a series of bizarre events.
The film unfolds into a Zen-like, disturbing vision, with Mike emerging as the incomprehensible Buddha of the title. Tourists come and go, the resort is not immune to external political events, but Mike remains who he is.
The sterile environment of a holiday resort, focused solely on entertainment can feel unreal, especially after a long stay. But it never becomes as surreal as in this feature debut by Ian Lagarde, who also wrote the scenario and did the camera work. The film is a satirical counterpoint to Ulrich Seidl’s ‘Paradies: Liebe’, where all-you-can-eat buffets and all-inclusive pampering replace sex tourism. All You Can Eat Buddha ended as a favourite for the Audience Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2018.
The films Jimmie, All You Can Eat Buddha and Arrhythmia all ended among the favourites for the Audience Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) 2018. These titles were not purchased by cinemas in the Netherlands and can therefore only be seen on the big screen during the IFFR Catch-up (Dutch: IFFR Gemist), with English subtitles.