The film, shot in Bohemia, Nepal and Tibet uses the story of a Czech woman to reflect upon death, which it views as a major divine within the eternal cycle of change.
Along the highest mountain passes of the Himalayas, tough, intrepid Jalan (Milind Soman) and his gang earn their living by stealing from unsuspecting travellers. Abiding by their own, unique codes of honour and dividing the spoils equally, all is routine until the arrival of the mystifying, beautiful Ushna (Lena Jam-Panoi). Appearing mysteriously after the raid of a pilgrim caravan, Ushna adheres to Jalan, claiming to have seen him in her dreams, and refusing to leave his side.
Milarepa, Tibet’s greatest meditation master, lived as a yogi at the end of the eleventh century. Born into affluence, Milarepa watched as their estate was stolen by an ambitious uncle. To avenge this injustice, Milarepa mastered the arts of black magic and assassinated his uncle’s family and friends. Almost immediately Milarepa felt great remorse for his brutality and set out to undo his bad karma. Guided by a spiritual teacher named Marpa, Milarepa endured many physical hardships and mental challenges designed to purify his negative actions.
‘The Unwinking Gaze’ offers a unique, behind-the-scenes insight into the recent working life of Tibet’s would-be saviour and revered world icon the Dalai Lama.
The Unwinking Gaze was filmed over a period of three years with exceptional access showing the daily agonies of the Tibetan leader as he tries to strike a balance between his Buddhist vows and the realpolitik needed to placate China. David and Goliath is played out in front of us as the world’s emerging superpower and the Dalai Lama walk a tightrope over an issue of global importance.
In an incident that shocked the world, a teenage Tibetan nun, Kelsang Namtso, was killed when Chinese border police opened fire on a group of pilgrims as they fled Tibet over the infamous Nangpa Pass. The shooting was witnessed by many international mountain climbers, some of whom videotaped or photographed the events and also helped rescue survivors and sent the story out to the world.
Filmed in Tibet and elsewhere in 2007-8, this powerful, well-filmed documentary includes exclusive interviews with HH the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Prime Minister, as well as with political prisoners and activists, and addresses issues around the past Olympics. NOTE: DVDs are now in NTSC version, for use on U.S. computers and U.S. or Canadian DVD players.
Mustang, a kingdom whose existence has long been kept secret, is in the territory of Nepal in the fabled land of Lo. It is hidden behind the high wall of the Himalayas, like a wedge driven into Tibet. The afternoon wind blows everyday, tirelessly obliterating all trace of each caravan. In front of the royal palace, monks intone ancient Buddhist prayers over and over again. Time seems to have stopped in this medieval fortress. Electricity, roads and cars are unknown to these people and yet, in some ways, they are ahead of us: in their incredible knowledge of nature and in their way of life.
Narrated by Richard Gere, Mustang – Journey of Transformation, tells the remarkable story of a 15th century Tibetan culture pulled back from the brink of extinction through the restoration of its most sacred sites. Featuring His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the film is a tale of hope and rebirth told by the people who helped save this once Forbidden Kingdom.
Special Jury Award, Documentary EcoVision Palermo, Sicily; Audience Award, World Cinema Short Maui Film Festival; Best Film On Mountain Culture Taos Mountain Film Festival.