Fate of the Lhapa
2007 USA, directed by Sarah C. Sifers, 63 minutes
Fate of the Lhapa is a feature-length documentary about the last three Tibetan shamans living in a Tibetan refugee camp in Nepal. Each lhapa requested that their story be filmed. Their fear was that the next heir might not appear until after their own deaths. Subsequently, with no lhapa alive to mentor the children, the documentary would be used to transmit the knowledge to the next generation. Their tales of nomadic childhoods, shamanic callings and apprenticeships, cosmologies of disease and treatments, and of their flight from Tibet during the Chinese occupation in the late 1950s is be juxtaposed with images of present-day life in the camp, current healing practices and shared concerns of the future and the fate of their tradition.