The Buddhist concept of reincarnation, while both mysterious and enchanting, is hard for most westerners to grasp. Unmistaken child follows the four-year search for the reincarnation of Lama Konchog, a world-renowned Tibetan master who passed away in 2001 at age 84. The Dalai Lama charges the deceased monk’s devoted disciple, Tenzin Zopa (who had been in his service since the age of seven), to search for his master’s reincarnation. Tenzin sets off on this unforgettable quest on foot, mule and even helicopter, through breathtaking landscapes and remote traditional Tibetan villages.
This is a film about four friends in Dharamsala, the exile seat of Tibetans, their dreams and aspirations. Nyima, the lead character of the film is a die hard fan of the Hollywood icon, Richard Gere and wanted to follow his footsteps to do something meaningful for his country, Tibet. The film can be classified under romantic comedy – where two of the friends ultimately falling in love with the same lady and the story unfold. Suitable doses of Exile politics and the Buddhism philosophy of life adds new layer to the film.
At the edge of the Millennium, The Dalai Lama of Tibet invited 40 of the West‘s leading, most innovative thinkers in their respective fields to his residence tucked away in the Himalayan mountains of Northern India to discuss the world‘s problems and how we can solve them. What transpired was unexpected and powerful, and was captured by an 18 person, 5 camera film crew.
In Shiqu, the highest northwest county seat in Sichuan Province – stands Se Xu Monastery. Rarely open to the public, its richness in the Tibetan Buddhism traditions unveils in this documentary. Filmed over a year, five lamas and a sky burial master speak of their belief and ways of spiritual living, among others who have been conducting retreat for years on this plateau of extreme climates. Ten thousand people gathering at the annual prayer festival and the mystical Tibetan sky-burial practices are among the most unforgettable scenes.
A Stranger in my Native Land is the poignant and personal account of Tenzing Sonam’s first-ever visit to his homeland. From the far reaches of Amdo Province, where Tibetans have lost their language, to Lhasa, the heart of the country, the film captures his meetings with long-lost relatives and conveys a sense of the desperation of Tibet as a country under occupation.
Telo Rinpoche, a.k.a. Eddie Ombadykow, is a 21-year-old American whose favourite band is The Smashing Pumpkins. He is also a Buddhist monk who was brought up in a Tibetan monastery in India and recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a high reincarnate lama. Now, he finds himself in his ancestral homeland, Kalmykia, a remote Buddhist republic in southern Russia, where he is revered by the people as their spiritual leader and charged with the responsibility of reviving Buddhism.
Tibet in March 2008. The biggest uprising since China took control in 1959 sweeps through the country. Meanwhile, Tibetans in exile march on their homeland, determined to support their countrymen. This is a year of dramatic possibilities for Tibet. For more than 20 years, the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual and political leader, has pursued his Middle Way Approach: giving up the goal of Tibet’s independence in return for genuine autonomy. But China has consistently rejected his proposal. Now, more and more Tibetans are questioning his strategy.
The Tibetan people are well known for being devoutly religious and peace loving. What is less known is that thousands of Tibetans took up arms against the invading forces of Communist China and waged a bitter and bloody guerrilla war. From the mid-1950s until 1969 they were aided in their efforts by an unlikely ally, the CIA. This project, code-named ST CIRCUS, was one of the CIA’s longest running covert operations.
A single-channel video installation, which explores the rarefied world of Tibetan Buddhist debate. Built around three sets of debates dealing with the basic Buddhist concepts of impermanence, lack of self-existence, and dependent-arising, the piece allows the viewer an opportunity to participate in this unique dialectical practice while highlighting its relevance to the modern world.
2010 Busan Biennale Living in Evolution
12 September to 20 November 2010
In 1991, filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam made The Reincarnation of Khensur Rinpoche, which followed the search and discovery of a 4-year-old reincarnated lama, Phara Khenchen Rinpoche. Sixteen years later, the directors revisit the reincarnation at Drepung Monastery in South India. The film offers an intimate look at the life of a young lama as he aspires to live up to the reputation of his former incarnation. It also explores his moving relationship with the two people closest to him, his attendant and his spiritual master, both of whom were connected to him in his previous life.