Understanding Tibetan Culture and History through Film

March 31, 2018 11:05 pm23 commentsViews: 243

The Dalai Lama and Tibet continue to attract attention on the world stage. Interest in the struggle of the Tibetan people is gathering momentum 50 years after the invasion by the Chinese. Tibetan culture is teetering on the brink of extinction as efforts are being made to save it.

Through the use of documentaries and dramatic movies, Tibetan history and the current situation is being shared with the world.

Hollywood’s Take on Tibet
Kundun – Follows the childhood through teen age years of the Dalai Lama, as he trained to lead Tibet in the face of Chinese invasion.

7 years in Tibet – While not as captivating as the book, it is based upon the true story of an Austrian climber that befriended the Dalai Lama when the rest of the world was at war.

Independent Films on Tibetan Culture
Milarepa – This movie centers around one of the great figures in Tibetan culture. This first movie deals with his younger vengeance filled days. The second movie to be released in 2009 will concentrate on the second half of his life that earned him the place as one of Tibet’s greatest mystics.

Dreaming Lhasa – Set more in modern times, it is an interesting story of Tibetans in exile.

Wind Horse- A drama about Tibetans dealing with Chinese oppression. It was shot illegally in Tibet

Documentaries on Tibet
Cry of the Snow Lion – A powerful documentary about the state of Tibet under Chinese rule.

The Unwinking Gaze – A behind the scenes look at the daily life of the Dalai Lama.

What Remains of Us – A Tibetan Canadian film maker takes a message from the Dalai Lama to the people in Tibet, and films their reaction.

Mustang; Hidden Kingdom – The envoy of the Dalai Lama is sent to Mustang, a secluded part of Tibet that still preserves old traditions.

Yogis of Tibet – Not surprisingly is a film about the yogis of Tibet.

Vajra Sky Over Tibet – A documentary that features the culture and ceremonies of Tibet

Tibet; a Buddhist Trilogy – Remastered from the original classic footage, it features the Dalai Lama in the first part, monastic life in the second, and ceremonies and teachings around death in the third part.

The Sacred Sites of the Dalai Lamas; Pilgrimage to the Oracle Lakes – Journeys to sacred sites including Tibetan caves, Oracle Lake, monasteries and nunneries.

Sacred Tibet; The Path to Mount Kailash – The pilgrimages of flutist Paul Horn and Lama Tenzin on their two journeys to Tibet. Paul Horn’s goal was to play his flute at the Potala palace.

The Lion’s Roar – The story of the 16th Karmapa

Angry Monk; Reflections on Tibet – The story of rebel ex-monk Gendun Choephel and his quest for change.

10 Questions for the Dalai Lama – Interview with the Dalai Lama.

Fate of Lhapa – Documentary about 3 Tibetan shamans living in exile in Nepal. They requested to be filmed, as they feared the loss of knowledge once they died.


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