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Tibet on Film

A Lists of Feature Films and Television Programmes featuring Tibet

Part 2: 1985 - 2005

Michael Organ



1985, Hong Kong , historical documentary, 104 minutes. Directors: Suen Wa and Gwok Miu Gei. This documentary is a portrayal of a devoutly Buddhist Tibet with footage of ancient temples, marriage rituals, nomadic shepherds with their yaks, and a sky death ritual.

The Horse Thief

1985, China . Director Tian Zhuangzhuang. Look at the nomads of eastern Tibet .

The Principles of Tibetan Medicine

1985, Rikon , Switzerland , approx. 5 hours, Wisdom Films. Dr. Tenzin Choedak, personal physician to the Dalai Lama, gives a series of talks introducing Tibetan medicine.

Western Students of Buddhism in India

1985, approx. 60 minutes, Wisdom Films. Includes an interview with the Dalai Lama on the spread of Buddhism in the West and the views of Westerners studying Buddhism in India .

Three Great Monasteries of Tibet : Ganden, Drepung, and Sera

1985, Mungod and Bylakuppe , India , 43 minutes, Wisdom Films. Life in the three great Gelugpa monastic universities, which were reconstructed in South Indian following their virtual destruction in Tibet .

The Song of Ultimate Reality

1985, Lama Tsong Khapa Institute, Pomaia , Italy , 90 minutes, Wisdom Films. Commentary by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the Song of Four Mindfulness composed by the Seventh Dalai Lama.

Tibetan Culture in Transition

1985, Rikon , Switzerland , approx. 60 minutes, Wisdom Films. Interviews with three generations of Tibetans in exile in Switzerland , those who speak Tibetan, those who are bi-lingual and those who speak no Tibetan at all.

Lion's roar

1985, 50 minutes, Boulder , Colorodo, Barr Films. Explores the Tibetan Buddhist view of life through the life, death, and cremation of his holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, head of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism. Shows his holiness's relocation in India , travels in the West, and interviews with high lamas.

Tibetan Medicine

1985, Rigpa, London , 120 minutes, Wisdom Publications. Dr. Lobsang Rabgay outlines the principles behind Tibetan medicine.

Reincarnation and Reincarnate Lamas

1985, India , 60 minutes, Wisdom Films. Includes an interview with the Dalai Lama about the role of reincarnate lamas in Tibetan Buddhism and interviews with tulkus of all ages.

Remember Tibet

1985, Riga , London , 60 minutes, Wisdom Films. Doboom Rinpoche and Phuntsog Wangyal address the Tibetan community in Britain and Western friends on the anniversary of the Lhasa uprising against the Chinese.

Kalachakra: Creating the Sacred Space

1985, Rikon , Switzerland , 60 minutes, Wisdom Films. Covers the elaborate preparation of the sand mandala presided over by the Dalai Lama for the Kalachakra initiation.

Lord of the dance : destroyer of illusion

1985, Mystic Fire Video, New York , 114 minutes. Filmed in a remote region of Nepal within the shadow of Mt. Everest , Lord of the Dance documents activities at two Buddhist monasteries where Sherpas and Tibetans preserve a unique way of life and vision of the world. The film focuses on the ancient Mani-Rimdu festival of “awakening” and on Trulshig Rinpoche, the Tibetan Lama who directs its performance.

The Experience of Transition

1985, Lama Tsong Khapa Institute, Pomaia , Italy . Three interviews concerned with the introduction of Tibetan Buddhism to the West, with the Dalai Lama, Australian monk Adrian Feldmann and French nun Elizabeth Drukier.

The Celebration of the Great Prayer Festival

1985, 60 minutes, Wisdom Films. Follows the Monlam Chenmo held at Drepung Monastery in Mungod, South India in 1985, presided over by the Ganden Tri Rinpoche, Jamphal Shenpen, the head of the Gelugpa sect.

Tibetan medicine : a Buddhist approach to healing

1985, Mystic Fire Video, New York , 29 minutes. Ama Lopsang Dolma , Tibet 's first woman doctor, shows how medicines are made and how acupuncture and moxibustion are used in her daily rounds as a physician. The Tibetan belief in emotion and spiritualism as an integral part in the healing process is also explored.

Debate in the Tibetan Tradition

1985, India , 60 minutes, Wisdom Publications. Documentary on the practice of debate and logic in Buddhist education.

Extracting the Essence

1985, Lama Tsong Khapa Institute, Pomaia , Italy , 165 minutes, Wisdom Films. Two dynamic interviews with Lama Thubten Yeshe in which he explains how to integrate Buddhism into the Western way of life, and then talks about the development of the FPMT Dharma centers.

General Assembly of Tibetans in Exile

1985, Dharamsala, 60 minutes, Wisdom Publications. In Tibetan.

Life in the Tibetan Community in Dharamsala

1985, India , 60 minutes, Wisdom Films. This hill station in the Himalayan foothills is home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in-Exile.

The Tibetan Way of Healing

19985, Rigpa, London , 9 hours, Wisdom Publications. Seminar by Dr. Rabgay covering Tibetan medicine and pharmacopeia, massage,acupuncture, moxibustion, yoga and therapeutic ritual.  


The Golden Child

1986, USA , adventure drama, 94 minutes. Eddie Murphy plays a detective with a speciality of finding lost children. He is told he is the ' Chosen one' who will find and protect the Golden Child, a young Buddhist mystic who was kidnapped by an evil sorcerer. Murphy disbelieves the mysticism but finds more and more evidence of demon worship as he travels to the Himalayas and Tibet to investigate and retrieve a sacred dagger.

The Queen of Tibet

1986, Hong Kong , historical drama. Directors: Hon Gwok Choi, Wong Leung, Mak Fei Hung. Story of the Tang princess coming to Tibet .

Dao ma zei

1986. Devout Buddhists, Norbu and Dolma live with their young son Tashi in a clan in Tibet . Norbu is a highwayman. Charged with stealing from the temple, inexplicable because he gives the temple most of his loot, he and his family are banished. Impoverished and marginalized, they can do little when their beloved son becomes ill. Tashi dies of a fever. After a second son is born, Norbu focuses his every action on keeping this child alive, seeking re-admission to the clan for his wife and child, then risking all to save them from isolation and starvation in winter. Images of harsh landscapes, vultures, and prayer wheels carry a virtually wordless narrative.

Tibet – El perfil d'un poble

1986, Spain , documentary.

Tibetan question

1986, Orientations Production for Channel Four Television Co., London , 12 minutes. A news broadcast covering awarding of the Nobel Prize to the Dalai Lama, his views on a non-violent solution to achieve Tibetan independence from China ; includes interviews with pro-Tibetan Chinese students and scenes of Chinese police brutality and environmental damage in Tibet .

Two Tibetan Buddhist nunneries : India 1985-86

1986, Meridian Foundation, London , 30 minutes. Describes life and religious practices of Tibetan Buddhist nuns, their importance in Tibetan society, and two convents founded by Tibetan refugees living in India , the Tilokpur Nunnery and Geden Choeling Nunnery.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Visits Europe

1986, Meridian Trust, 40 minutes, color. A 40 minute documentary overview of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 1986 visit to the cities of Bonn, Munich, Vienna, Amsterdam, Digne and Paris.

Lhasa 1986 : The Forbidden City Opens Its Doors

1986, 60 minutes, Wisdom Films. Includes scenes shot at the Potala, the Jokhang, Gyurme Tantric College , and at a sky burial site near Sera monastery.

The Dalai Lama: The Future of Religion

1986, Amsterdam , Holland , 60 minutes, Wisdom Films. The purpose of the variety of spiritual traditions and their benefit for humanity.

Defenders of the Earth: The Lost Jewels of Tibet

1986, Marvel, cartoon, 30 minutes. Featuring Flash Gordon, Mandrake the Magician, Lothar, Lothar Jr. (L.J.), The Phantom/Kit Walker, Rick, Jedda, Kshin, Zuffy, Prince Crotan, Ming the Merciless.

Nu Huo Fuo / Woman Living Buddha

1986, China , Beijing Film Studio, color, 15 reels. Director Li Wei. “The time of this story is from the spring of 1958 to the winter of 1959. At that time, Tibetan revolutionaries are planning to leave Tibet for India and there to organize a movement to separate from China . They visit the woman Living Buddha to persuade her to join them in leaving the country. At the same time, the Communist Party of China is trying to get her to stay in Tibet . She at last decides to go with the separatists. They experience many hardships on the journey but at last arrive in India . There, she finds herself subjected to pressures to join the Tibetan independence movement. The Living Buddha's crown is stolen, and she witnesses the squalid conditions of others who came before her. She decides against joining the independence movement, and returns to China .” ( Marion 1997)  


Sound of wisdom

1987, Cos Cob, Conneticut, Hartley Film Foundation, 57 minutes. Features the Tibetan Buddhist monks of Gyuto Tantric University , David Hykes and the Harmonic Choir, Philip Glass, Pauline Oliveros, and Terry Riley. Eleven Tibetan Buddhist monks, practitioners of the tantric arts of Tibet , perform their ritual chanting accompanied by Tibetan bells, cymbals, trumpets and long horns.

The Nature of Mind

1987, 150 minutes, Wisdom Films, London . An overview of Tibetan Buddhism by Kalu Rinpoche, one of the most eminent masters of the Kagyu school.


Tibet : A Case to Answer

1988, United Kingdom , documentary, 120 minutes. Shot within Tibet under very difficult and dangerous circumstances by Vanya Kewley, a British journalist, who had prepared for three years to slip away from a Chinese-controlled tour. In six weeks she took 160 interviews while travelling across much of Tibet , with monks, nuns, and political prisoners who risked further punishments by speaking out. First-hand accounts of famine, torture, forced abortion, and footage of the exploitation of Tibetan natural resources. Produced by Vanya Kewley, BBC.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama in England 1988

1988, Wisdom Films, 60 minutes. Documentary presenting a more personal profile of the Dalai Lama during his visit to England in 1988.

The Dalai Lama: Universal Responsibility in a Nuclear Age

1988, 30 minutes, Wisdom Films. His Holiness delivers an impassioned speech to the Global Conference of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human Survival, held at Oxford in 1988.

Der Damon im Stein

1988, Germany , documentary, 110 minutes. Director Wolf Kahlen. Documentary on Tibetan artist Thang strongr Gyalpo.


1988, 50 minutes. Director Stanley Dorfman. This drama is more of a travelogue than a traditional narrative and features remarkable cinematography and a haunting new age score.

Discovering China and Tibet

1988, documentary, 52 minutes. offers a visually stunning glimpse at some of the hallmarks of the Chinese and Tibetan republics, including Beijing, Hangzou, and the West Lake (a popular honeymoon spot), and the legendary Great Wall of China. Also among the highlights are tours into the mystical city of Shanghai , Hong Kong , and a peek at the long-standing cultural tradition of Chinese opera and acrobatics, as well as insight on Chinese homeopathy and its lasting effect on the international community, particularly regarding herbal remedies and the practice of acupuncture. San Ramon , CA : International Video Network,

Does mind matter?

1988, Oakland, Californi, Thinking Allowed Productions, Thinking allowed Series moderator Jeffrey Mishlove interviews speakers on the relationship of mind to body or brain; comparison of the mind to computers; and the mind in Tibetan Buddhism.

Dor, low is better

1988, 47 minutes, Netherlands ? University of Amsterdam , Dept. of Visual Anthropology ; London : distributed by Royal Anthropological Institute. In an experimental approach to the study of comparative cultures, Tibet monks compare the horns and flutes used in their ritual music with a Swiss alphorn and Dutch windhorn introduced to them by anthropologist/film-maker Robert Boonzajer.


1988, 54 minutes, Hollywood , California , Paramount . Mere mention of the word Tibet evokes images of a rich and magical country, its culture shrouded by a remote and inaccessible location. This program provides a look at the place called the "Roof of the World," where the heavens and the earth meet, and where centuries old rhythms continue.

An Address to the Tibetan Community in Britain by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

1988, London , Tibetan language, 52 minutes, Wisdom Films.

The Dalai Lama: An Overview of Tibetan Buddhism with a Commentary on Bodhicharyavatara

1988, 11 hours, Wisdom Films. Covers three days of illuminating talks including question and answer sessions. London , April 1988.

The Dalai Lama: Green Tara Initiation

1988, 165 minutes, Wisdom Films. His Holiness performs the common initiation of Green Tara which grants the four empowerments in the form of a blessing. London , April 1988.

The Tibet Journal

1988, 30 minutes. Documentary by CNN Beijing Bureau Chief Mike Chinoy about his visit to Tibet in 1988. Chinoy is one of a very small handful of Western journalists allowed to visit Tibet officially. A fair, even-handed representation of the situation at the time. The film includes interviews with Chinese officials and dissidents.

Tsurphu: Home of the Karmapa's

[1988] A story documentary of the early days of the rebuilding of Tsurphu Monastery. All filmed in 1988 at Tsurphu , Tibet . A visual discription of daily life in the great monastery of Tsurphu. Filmed 1988 Date: Produced 1990. Produced by Ward Holmes/Tsurphu Foundation, 60 minutes.


1988. The diary of the adventurous joutney by Choegyal Namkhai Norbu and a group of westerners, to the unexplored areas of north-occidental Tibet and the Kailash, the sacred mountain of Tibet 1988. Directed by Paolo Brunatto. Distribution: Shang Shung Institute. Duration: 45 minutes.

Songzi Ganbu / Song Zai Gan Bu [Songtsen Gampo]

1988, China , Tibetan Television Studio. Director Yang Jizhi. “In the early part of the 7 th century, Songzai Ganbu becomes the leader of the Tibetans. To consolidate his power he seeks to marry someone from the Chinese court. The story tells how he conveys this message to the Tang Dynasty court, and how he and the Princes Wecheng are at last married in the Tibetan Budala Palace .” ( Marion 1997)


Tibetan Buddhist Meditation

1989, philosophy documentary, 30 minutes.

A Buddhist Monk--The Dalai Lama of Tibet : Eleven Days in England

1989. 40 minutes, Wisdom Films. Personal profile of His Holiness presenting him in his various roles as Buddhist teacher, international spokesman for peace and exiled leader of the Tibetan people.

Shangshung: The Artistic Treasures of Tsaparang and Tholing

1989, 60 minutes, Wisdom Films. Within the crumbling walls of the ancient cities of Western Tibet are some of the finest examples of early Mahayana Buddhist art.

Tibet : A Lost Nation

1989, 42 minutes, color. BBC production features the current political situation in Tibet with brief political history. Scenes include demonstrations in Lhasa , Tibet 's capital, an interview with former Tibetan political prisoners and Tibetan government officials, and an interview with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Wheel of Re-Birth

1989, 30 minutes, color. A film by David Cherniack Films for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's "Man Alive" series. This documentary shows the process and methods of finding a reincarnate lama, using the search for Zong Rinpoche's reincarnation as an example. Scenes include a rare glimpse of the Nechung oracle going into a trance to help select the correct incarnation. Includes an interview with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

A Man of Peace

189, Produced by the Meridian Trust & The Office of Information & International Relations, England/India, 40 mniutes. In 1989 His Holiness was awarded the Nobel Peace prize and in December went to Oslo for the award ceremony. Whilst there he also visited Trondheim , Bergen and the Arctic region Samiland. This documentary is an intimate portrayal of His Holiness, capturing his warmth, wisdom, compassion and humour. Includes excerpts from the award ceremony and His Holiness, speech, and a reinder drawn sleigh ride.  


The Future of Tibet

?1990, Lion and Fool Foundation, 117-minute documentary. Focuses on the U.S. position vis-a-vis Tibet and the fallacy behind arguments of "realpolitik", given China 's trade imbalance with the U.S. (second only to Japan ). This tape incorporates a quick-moving montage of historical and contemporary footage, not yet seen in other tapes on Tibet ; as well as interviews with Congressional leaders.

Sacred Dances of Tibet

1990, documentary, 28 minutes. Monks from Tibet perform dances which lead to enlightenment.

Tibet – A Seed for Transformation

1990, documentary, 29 minutes. Director Wendy Schofield. Describes Tibet 's political circumstances and China 's human rights violations in the region. Produced by Jupiter Video Productions.

Le Prince du Tibet / The Prince of Tibet

1990, Hong Kong , Kung fu action adventure. Director: Welson Chim, 82 minutes. Starring Conan Lee and Cynthia Rothrock.

Tibet – Widerstand des Geistes

1990, TV, Germany .

Lung Ta: The Forgotten/Forbidden Tibet

1990, French, documentary, 86 minutes. Directors Marie de Poncheville and Franz Christoph Giercke. A response to contemporary Tibet , Lung Ta captures the beauty of the country and its fragile condition. A hit in France . Lung Ta is a highly personal and moving depiction of the country, its culture and people. Narrated by Richard Gere.

Tin Tin in Tibet

1990, cartoon, France , 30 minutes. Upon receiving word that his friend Chang has gone missing after a deadly airplane crash in Nepal's Himalayas, Tin Tin is determined to search for him. Tin Tin is convinced that Chang is still alive. With The Captain, he heads into the High Himalaya. Tin Tin and his fellow travelers see signs of what could only be the mysterious Yeti. When the group finally reaches the site of the plane crash Tin Tin discovers clues that convince the group that Chang must have survived the crash. A terrible avalanche causes the group to be stranded, but are ultimately rescued by Tibetan monks. Just as Tin Tin is about to give up hope a monk has a vision which sends Tin Tin back into the mountains. Will he be able to find Chang this time or has the Yeti already got him.

Red Flag Over Tibet

1989, Beyond International Group. Produced by Stephen McMillan and Robert Davidson. Opens and closes with performances by members of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts. Historicaloverview of the Tibetan situation with special emphasis on the takeover in 1949-1950 and the military occupation.

Lojong – Transforming the Mind

1990, 5 hours 24 minutes. His Holiness teaches us how to develop positive ways of thinking, enhance our compassion, and transform adverse situations into conditions favorable for spiritual development. A co-production of Office of Tibet (London), Meridian Trust, Jukes Productions and Mystic Fire Video Executive producer: Geoff Jukes, Produced by Sheldon Rochlin, Directed by Morgan Harris.


A Song for Tibet

1991, Canada , Zeitgeist Films, 57 minutes. Records the efforts of the Tibetan people and the Dalai Lama to keep their civilization alive in exile. Includes interviews with exiles, music and dancing. A Song for Tibet tells the dramatic story of the efforts by Tibetans-in-exile to save their homeland and preserve their heritage against overwhelming odds. Featured are two Canadian Tibetans, Thubten Samdup (Sam) and Dicki Chhoyang, two modern people with roots deeply planted in their ancestors' beliefs and tradition. Also prominent is the Dalai Lama, whose inspiring leadership in exile has never wavered from the Buddhist beliefs in non-violence. Filmed in the Indian Himalayas and in Canada , A Song for Tibet is a beautifully photographed examination of one of the world's most ancient and benevolent cultures, whose future hangs in the balance.

Tibet - The Survival of the Spirit

1991, documentary, 92 minutes. Director Clemens Kuby.

Tibet in Exile

1991, USA , documentary, 30 minutes. This documentary focuses on the plight of Tibet , from the Communist invasion in 1949 to current times.

Heart of Tibet

1991, Mystic Fire Video, New York , 60 minutes. Director David Cherniack. Heart of Tibet : An Intimate Portrait of the 14th Dalai Lama is both a biography of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, and a documentary that chronicles the history of Tibet under Chinese occupation. Introduced by Jimmy Carter, the Dalai Lama is portrayed as a spiritual and political leader, teacher and intellectual, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. The 60-minute film features interviews with the Dalai Lama during his 1989 visit to Los Angeles, as well as comments from his American bodyguard, Paul "Tiny" Stacy, about what it is like to protect one of the most famous men in the world. Film smuggled out of Lhasa provides rare footage of atrocities committed against unarmed Tibetans by the Chinese military police. Special highlights include interviews with Robert Thurman, Professor of Buddhist Studies at Columbia University , and John Avedon, author of In Exile from the Land of Snows .

Ocean of wisdom

1991, PBS Video, 29 minutes. A biographical account of the life of Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama. The program contrasts the Dalai Lama's non-violent campaign to free his homeland of Tibet with the deadly reality of the Chinese occupation.

Overcoming differences

1991, Trueheart Productions, Ithaca , New York and Snow Lion Publications, 58 minutes. Documents a speech by the Dalai Lama at Cornell University in which he stresses that the only real hope for world peace is to recognize the “oneness of humanity”. He argues that humans are basically compassionate and not aggressive.

Lost Horizons

1991, 15 minutes. Produced by Rudy Bednar. ABC-TV presentation on Primetime Live, 11 July 1991 . Reported by John Quinones. A very slick piece of ant-Chinese propaganda with misrepresented films and disingenuous narration.

Mandala: World of the Mystic Circle

1991, 50 minutes, color. Produced by Martin McGee and Cathy Steffan. Mandala: World of the Mystic Circle fully captures all creation and ceremonial dismantling of the sacred Kalachakra sand mandala by four Tibetan monks of the Namgyal Monastery during August 1991 at the Buffalo Museum of Science, following the process from his first chalk lines drawn to the final ritual pouring of the sand into the river at Niagara fall. Interviews provide the viewer with a fuller understanding of the diverse physical and metaphysical structures and meanings associated with mandalas.

Sand Painting: Sacred Art of Tibetan Buddhism

1991, 30 minutes, color. Written and produced by Sheri Brenner. The ancient art of Tibetan sand painting has been preserved in the monasteries of Indian and Tibet for over 2000 years. In this live program, we have the rare opportunity to watch Tibetan monks of the Namgyal Monastery perform this unique art form. They will create the mandala of Kalachakra, the most sacred of Buddhist sand paintings. Entering the world of Tibetan sacred tradition, this documentary explores the meaning of the symbols and rituals within the mandalas that have existed throughout time. These extraordinary images are narrated by Lobstang Samten whose wisdom and understanding provide insight into this sacred art.


The Kid from Tibet / Xi Zang xiao zi

1992, Hong Kong / Taiwan , Kung fu action adventure, 97 minutes. Director: Yuen Biao. A naive Tibetan monk is sent by his lama to Hong Kong to recover a priceless and powerful ancient relic. Buddhist white magic battles black magic as embodied by the diabolical Yuen Wah and his leather-girl, the ravishing Cheung Man. The golden urn, legendary vessel of Potala Palace , had been lost for hundred years and never been found. One day a Hong Kong lawyer, E.G. Robinson, came to the palace to meet with the superior Dalai Lama. He declared that Mr. Shaw, billionaire, had occupied the holy urn and decided to return it back to where it belongs. Wonglai, a lama of Dalai palace of Tibet who had never left Lhasa before, was designated to go to Hong Kong to collect the urn. Unfortunately, this event became known by a religious opponent Law Wah. He ordered his disciples to Lhasa to seize the urn's lid from Wonglai. Meanwhile, he attacked Shaw's villa and seized the golden urn.


1992. A young Tibetan lama, Rinpoche is pursued into hiding in Nepal by an evil cult leader (Puneet Issar). Meanwhile, Ashokan (Mohanlal) and AppUnited Kingdomuttan (Jagathi) are cousins in a constant game of one-upmanship in their village. An astrologer's advice results in the two landing up in Nepal to seek their fortunes, while vying for the hand of anthropologist/photographer Aswathi (Madhoo). Rinpoche ends up in Ashokan's care, who with Aswathi must protect him from the cult.

Compassion in exile : the story of the 14th Dalai Lama

1992, Lemle Pictures in association with Central Independent Television, New York, ca. 60 minutes, English. Presents a poignant biographical sketch of Tibet 's 14th Dalai Lama who has lived in exile for over 30 years but continues to be the spiritual leader of his people. Shows the tragic plight of Tibetans who have been severely persecuted by the Chinese. Produced by Lemle Pictures Inc. in association with Central Productions Ltd. UK .

Y na na : woman of a thousand places

1992, San Francisco , California , Tara Films, 20 minutes. Features the women of four minority groups in southwestern China and Tibet especially their customs and rituals which are being transformed as they assimilate into mainstream China .  


Satya: A Prayer for the Enemy

1993, Ho-Ho-Kus , New Jersey , 28 minutes. Tibetan Buddhist nuns describe their ongoing struggle to gain human dignity, religious freedom, and independence as well as the brutal treatment they have received in prison under the Chinese.

Era Uma Vez no Tibet

1993, comedy short. Director Robeto Maya.

Little Buddha

1993, drama. Director Bernado Bertolucci.

Emmanuelle's Love

1993, erotic adventure. Emmanuelle withdraws into a temple in Tibet , where she wants to find her true self. She's given a mystic substance which will give her youth and allow her to enter the souls of other women. Now she sets out and searches her true love Mario from 20 years ago. When he sees young Emmanuelle, he doesn't believe it's really her, but she retells all the juicy details of her past to prove it to him.

In Search Of Buddha

1993, 68 minutes. Directed by Paolo Brunatto. To discover why westerners are increasingly drawn to Tibetan Buddhism and fathatom some of its mysteries, Paolo Brunatto followed Bernardo Berto lucci from the early preparation to his film " Little Buddha " to his shooting in Buthan, Nepal, Europe and United States and, with it, access to a world that encompasse the "closed" kingdom of Bhutan, the Tibetan monasteries in Nepal, the Dharma Centers in Europe and Usa, H.H. Dalai Lama, Lamas as Chogyal Namkhai Norbu or Dzongsar Khyentse, the " celebri ty Buddhism " of Hollywood, the American lawyer who now lives as an hermit in a Himalyan cave and a Parisian biologist who is now a Tibetan monk.


1993, Alpha Video, Seattle, 54 minutes. Tibet , a Buddhist trilogy – Part 1. A documentary on the Dalai Lama and the changing structure of his theocracy today. Filmed in Sera--the second largest monastery of the old Tibet --and in Dharamsala, the present headquarters of the Dalai Lama's administration in exile, the film portrays the devotional and working life of the monks and lay people.

Fields of the senses

1992, Alpha Video, Seattle, 54 minutes. Tibet , a Buddhist trilogy - Part 2. This film follows the monks and farmers through a day, ending with the advent of dusk, and the detailed portrayal of the monastery's moving ritual response to a death in the community.

Radiating the fruit of truth

1993, Alpha Video, Seattle, 127 minutes. Tibet , a Buddhist trilogy – Part 3. Preparations for and the performance of the ritual known as A Beautiful Ornament.

Menri Monastery

1993, Berkeley , California , Dauber Film Services : University of California Extension , Center for Media and Independent Learning, 25 minutes. Looks at the only remaining Bonpo monastery of the Menri lineage, established in the Himalayan foothills by refugees. The Bon are indigenous pre-Buddhist Tibetans whose cultural roots go back more than 9,000 years. The monastery has a 900-year unbroken lineage and serves as cultural as well as religious center for the refugee population.

Pa-dga' Living Buddha

1993, China , color, 108 minutes. Directed by Wen Pulin. Shown at the 18th Hong Kong International Film Festival (April 1994). The description read: "Wen Pulin, a Han Chinese, who first visited Tibet in 1989 and started making documentaries about it (including "The Sacred Site of Asceticism") has now made Nga-shod his permanent home. Befriending Pa-dga' the Living Buddha, today he even subsumes shooting films to build bridges and temples with Pa-dga'. His latest documentary on Tibet is a record of a devoted man carrying out his daily religious and secular duties, and in a oblique way, an internal odyssey of the filmmaker himself finding tranquility in his adopted homeland. The film, therefore, like its subject, exudes the effortless serenity of a man at home with his calling and the environment."

Ancient Futures: Learning From Ladakh

1993. Produced by John Pope/International Society for Ecology and Culture. Details the effects of modernization on traditional life in Ladakh. Based on a book of the same title by Helena Norbert.


Shadows Over Tibet : Stories in Exile

1994, documentary, 57 minutes. 91 Produced by Rachel Lyon and Valerie Mrak. Written and directed by Rachel Lyon. 1994.Lioness Films.

Dalai Lama – The Soul of Tibet

1994, USA , TV documentary, 50 minutes.

Tibet in India

1994, South Africa , TV documentary.

My Husband Doesn't Mind if I Disco: Woman's Place in a Changing Tibet

1994, documentary, 24 minutes. Director Nina Egert. This program is an overview of modern Tibetan culture. The film attempts to explain recent history of the region and to inform against the typical American stereotype of Tibet . In the post Maoist era in Tibet changes (for men and women) in work, the arts, education, profession, health care, and domestic and social environment are viewed. Women's role in the culture is described by scholars and everyday Tibetans. Among those interviewed: Ani Richen Drolma [Buddhist nun], Dr. Drolma Tao, Sonam Dhondup [tourist guide & interpreter] , Tsering Dolma, Tsering Tso Drolma [choreographer], Gompo Namgyal, [dancer], Dorje [dancer], Rinchen Wangmo [Academic Researcher, Beijing University], Tselo [housekeeper], Luguchu [Women's Counselor], Tolay [Farmer/Hotel groundskeeper]. Notes: A video by Nina Egert. Narrated by Soman Dhondup, Tsering Dolma and Nina Egert. Text based upon translation by Jay Dautcher, Sonam Dhondup, Tsering Dolma and Pema Wangyal.

The 17th Karmapa's Return to Tsurphu

1994, 100 minutes. The Karmapas were the first lamas of Tibetan Buddhism to be recognized as reincarnations, and are among the greatest spiritually realized masters of Tibet . The first Karmapa vowed to come back for 21 incarnations in order to relieve the sufferings of the world. After the death of the 16thKarmapa in Chicago , he left a letter which led to the discovery of his reincarnation. The 17th Karmapa arrives in triumphal celebration at his original seat at Tsurphu monastery, the home of all his predecessors, shortly after his discovery in Tibet .

Ab nach Tibet

1994, Germany , 128 minutes. Director Herbert Achternbusch.

Karmapa : The Thangka Ceremony

1994, 30 minutes, Snow Lion. Presented by Tsurphu Foundation. Produced by Ward Holmes. In May 1994 members of the Tsurphu Foundation joined H.H. the XVII Karmapa and the monks of Tsurphu Monastery for the first unveiling of the new silk applique thangka - one of the largest in the world. Measuring 60' by 100' it was reconstructed in the traditional style designed by the 9th Karmapa. The old thangka was destroyed during the cultural revolution. There are wonderful segments of the new Karmapa and the unveiling ceremony.

Red Flag Over Tibet

1994, TV documentary, 60 minutes. Frontline. What is the fate of Tibet ? To explore that question, Frontline asked Orville Schell, an author and longtime observer of China , to make the journey to the Roof of the World. Forty years of Chinese occupation have left tens of thousands of Tibetans dead and six thousand Tibetan monasteries and temples destroyed. Today, the Dalai Lama is in exile, Lhasa, the capital, is predominantly Chinese, and one of Tibet's most sacred lakes is being developed for Chinese hydroelectric power. Schell vividly chronicles the history and culture of Tibet , explores the Chinese view of Tibet , and looks at why the survival of Tibet 's people and culture has become an international issue.

The World Isn¹t Listening

1994, 3 minute Music video. Designed for the college age/MTV audience, this film visualizes the horror of China invading Tibet . Won Best Achievement Short Subject and Best Editing Short Subject, Intl. Monitor Awards, New York 1995, Best Documentary, Joey Awards, San Jose 1994. Robin Garthwait and Dan Griffin, Producers, Garthwait & Griffin Films.

The Dalai Lama Visits Washington , D.C.

1994, 5 minutes. A joyful and incongruous behind-the-scenes look at the Tibetan leader's visit to the U.S. capital¹s political scene. From Larry King at C.N.N. to the private offices of Newt Gingrich to a Jewish Seder held at the house where the U.S. Civil Rights Act was signed, we see him moving tirelessly on his campaign for the Tibetan people¹s right to self-determination. Robin Garthwait and Dan Griffin, Producers Garthwait & Griffin Films.

Human Rights and Moral Practice

1994, 30 minute documentary/talk by His Holiness The Dalai Lama. Addressing some of the most pressing social issues of our time with great insight and sensitivity, the Dalai Lama speaks forthcomingly on concrete political themes such as birth control, the arms trade, and global economy. Robin Garthwait and Dan Griffin, Producers Garthwait & Griffin Films.

Tibetan Book of the Dead Part 2 – The Great Liberation

1994, Canada , documentary, 45 minutes. Tibetan Buddhists believe that after a person dies, they enter a state of "bardo" for 49 days until a rebirth. In part two of the series, traditional Buddhist teachings on compassion and truth are vividly detailed. The contents of The Tibetan Book of the Dead are examined as we observe an elderly monk and his young student guide the soul of a person, recently deceased, into the afterlife. This remarkable documentary interweaves images and sounds of traditional Buddhist life.

Art of dying

1994, Inner Directions Video, California , 63 minutes. Reveals modern-day Tibet from the Tibetan perspective. Explores the approach to death as revealed in the ancient Tibetan scriptures and practiced in local customs throughout the centuries.


1994, First Light Video, 9 minutes. A vision of the peaceful and wrathful gods, derived from the Tibetan Book of the dead and photographed from Tibetan paintings in major American collections.

Tibet : The Survival of Spirit

1994, 92 minutes. Disguised as tourists, the film crew left their Chinese guide behind and filmed for two months in Tibet without Chinese censorship. The Tibetans take their protests into the streets several times a year resist the occupation government. Their plight is brought home with footage of the Jokhang temple stormed by Chinese police. Eyewitness and survivors detail torture and human rights abuses. Through it all, the Tibetans quietly continue to rebuild their shattered culture.

Ladakh: In Harmony with the Spirit

1994, 86 minutes, Mystic Fire Video. A portrait of a Tantric Buddhist Shangri-la--part documentary and part re-enactment, that suggests what rural life neighboring Tibet would be like without Chinese occupation. Nestled high in the Himalaya , Ladakh has been isolated from the pressures of the modern world until the mid-seventies and retains centuries-old customs and costumes. To live amongst the energies of gods demons, the villagers rely on both Geshes--a scholarly monk, and the shaman--a religious hermit".

Mustang: The Hidden Kingdom

1994, Discovery Productions and Intrepid Films, approx. 80 minutes. Directed by Tony Miller. The voyage of Khamtruel Rinpoche from Dharamsala to Mustang as the official representative of the Dalai lama. Narrated by Harrison Ford.

The Good Heart: The 14th Dalai lama Comments on the Four Christian Gospels

1994. This video is a summary of the 1994 John Main Seminar held in London . His Holiness gave an extensive commentary of the Four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John for both Christians and Buddhists. He insists on the need to see the fundamental differences between Buddhism and Christianity - such as a Creator God. But he also highlights the striking similarities and parallels between the lives of Jesus and Buddha, their teachings on non-violence and the progressive stages of spiritual development.

Tibet - Communism, Land of the Gods

1994, 25 minutes. CNN documentary reported by Andrea Koppel in three parts. Generally fair assessment of the situation in 1994.  


Lost Civilizations – 10: Tibet – The End of Time

1995, TV documentary, 48 minutes. Actor Sam Waterston hosts this ten-part series that revisits ancient cultures on four continents. Dramatic re-enactments recall key historic events, and attractive location footage provides viewers with interesting information about the featured cultures. This episode recalls the current Dalai Lama's ascension to the throne while also noting many of the cultural threats facing this part of the world.

Tibetische Erinnerungen

1995, Germany . A personal audio-visual notebook from Tibet (1988 - 1995). The everyday things, the breathtaking light, the enjoyment of the common, the second look, the love for the detail, memories.

Shadows Over Tibet : Stories in Exile / Journey to Enlightenment

1995, USA , TV documentary, 47 minutes. Narrator Richard Gere.


1995, drama. The myth of the sunken city of Atlantis is the focus of an imaginary journey through the mind of the renowned professor Neuffer. He finds himself rapt in a vision which occurs as the autumn mists descend upon the Allgaeu mountains: the mystical island of Atlantis never sunk at all, on the contrary, the sinking of the world's oceans has meant that the island is now where nobody ever imagined it could be-on the "roof of the world"-in the Himalayas . Neuffer and Nele, a young woman, set off to Tibet in search of the land of dreams.

Tibet 's Holy Mountain

1995, documentary, 52 minutes.

The Cat and the Mouse: China and Tibet

1995, United Kingdom , documentary, 50 minutes. When China began its occupation of Tibet , it sought to remove the practice of Buddhism by killing the priests. Then it began to obliterate the Tibetan culture. Outpowered and outnumbered, the Tibetans have mounted a resistance, described in The Cat and the Mouse: China and Tibet . On the one hand, the Dalai Lama seeks international support, publicizing his country's plight through personal appearances, his books, and speeches. A group of young Tibetans is attempting to pull together a more aggressive stance from their base in India . It is a continuing struggle, with Tibetans forced to defend from outside their country.

A Conversation with the Dalai Lama

1995, 22 minutes, ABC-TV Nightline. Broadcast 13 September 1995 . Interviewed by Ted Koppel.

Nirvana in Nova Scotia

1995. A film by David Cherniack Films for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's "Man Alive" series. February 1995. In the 1980s, at the behest of their controversial Tibetan teacher, 400 American Buddhists moved to Halifax , Nova Scotia . A portrait of the Halifax Vajradhatu. Interviews with Allan Ginsburg, Robert A. F. Thurman, James George.


Tibet My Country

1996, Italy , 43 minutes. Produced by Adelaide Aglietta. Filmed & directed by Piero Verni, written & narrated by Karma Chukey, is a movie on the social & political situation of Tibet occupied by People's Republic of China since 1950. By means of very precise analysis of historical events and on the basis of a large number of witnesses, this video gives a clear picture of the tragedy of Tibet and its people. Mrs. Karma Chukey, is one of the first Tibetan woman who had the possibility to speak to the world directly as a first person about the problems and the terrible conditions of her country. Tibet My Country contains rare images of archives; interviews with the Dalai Lama; member of the Tibetan government in exile; former political prisoners escaped from Tibet; images of Chinese colonial rule in Tibet; footages shot by Chinese police during demonstrations in Lhasa; the life of Tibetan refugees in India; secret amateur videos shot by tourists in Tibet. Date of Film: March 1996..

Tibetan Book of the Dead Part 1 – A Way of Life

1996, USA , documentary, 48 minutes. The first in a two part series, this remarkable documentary was shot over a four month period in Europe and northern India . The film documents the history of The Tibetan Book of the Dead and its traditional applications. According to Tibetan Buddhist belief, after a person dies, they are in a state of "bardo," on a different plane for 49 days until the next rebirth. The Tibetan Book of the Dead is a guide for the period between death and the rebirth to come. The film uses extraordinary footage of the rites performed on a recently deceased Ladakhi elder and an interview with the Dalai Lama, who shares his views of the meaning and importance of the book.

Blonde Justice

1996, Canada , Kung fu action adventure. Starring Cynthia Rothrock. The basic plot is a Cantonese take on The Golden Child, with La Rothrock playing a Tibetan Buddhist monkette sent to retrieve the reincarnation of an important lama. An evil force has taken over her temple, and Cyndy must do battle against her kung fu fighting fellow monks. The Hong Kong comedy sequences most of which we could do without, are provided by Conan Lee and Chan SUnited Kingdom Lam. The Most striking sequences are those actually filmed on location in Tibet . It's unusual to see the blonde American woman in martial arts sequences staged amid ancient stone monuments.

Aus Tibet – Ein Heimatfilm / From Tibet – A Film of the Homeland

1996, Germany , documentary, 105 minutes. Directors Lottie Marsai and Katharina Rosa.

The Quest

1996, USA , action adventure, 94 minutes. Director Jean Claude van Damme. Chris embarks on an odyssey of self-discovery that spans the globe. Kidnapped and enslaved by gun smugglers, sold by pirates and thrust into the murky underworld of gambling and kickboxing, Chris' journey takes him to forbidding Muay Thai Island where deadly martial arts are taught, the colonial splendor of British East Asia, the dank back alleys of Bangkok, desolate deserts once trod by the warriors of Genghis Khan and finally, the ancient Lost City. There he must face the ultimate test of his manhood in the fabled Ghang-gheng, the ancient winner-take-all competition in which the deadliest fighters from around the world employ the most spectacular feats of martial arts skills ever displayed in order to win the prized Golden Dragon. But fighting prowess alone will not be enough for Chris to triumph over such daunting foes. He must reach deep inside and access all of the determination, strength of character and sense of selfless honor within in order to triumph over this final obstacle on his long trek home.

Mystic vision, sacred art: Tibetan thangka painting in Kathmandu Valley

1996, Watertown , Massachussets, Documentary Educational Resources, 28 minutes. An introduction to the art of thangka, sacred Tibetan Buddhist painting in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, offering insight into the symbolic and religious meaning of thangkas and their importance for Tibetan Buddhist life.

State Sponsored Terrorism

1996, 60 minutes. Terrorism: a world in shadows - part 5. Volume five depicts four examples of state sponsored violence: The Chinese government's massacre of students at Tian an men Square, China 's subjugation of Tibet , the repression of the Kurds by Saddam Hussein, and South Africa 's domestic terror against its black population. In each of these cases the ruling elite used different forms and degrees of violence to suppress challenge to state authority.

The Holy Mountain of Tibet

1996, 52 minutes, colour. Where Tibet , Nepal and India meet rises a 22,000-foot-high mountain thought by Hindus and Buddhists to hold at its peak the throne of the foremost gods. This program follows the trail to Mt. Kailash , also stopping to visit shrines and other sacred sites at Tsaparang, the 11th century capital of the old Tibetan kingdom of Guge , at Khojamat, where a stately cloister remained open despite the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and at Lhasa , whose architecture and rich decorative arts illustrate the Buddhist concept of the world.

Home to Tibet : The Story of Sonam Lama's Return to his Homeland

1996, 55 minutes, Snow Lion. A film by Alan Dater and Lisa Merton. Home to Tibet documents the return of the Tibetan stone mason, Sonam Lama, to his homeland for the first time since his escape twelve years ago. His sister had asked that he return in order that she might prepare her mind for old age and death. Despite the fact that Sonam has become an American citizen, returning to Tibet is dangerous for him. He first pilgrimages in India where he meets the Dalai Lama and goes to Nepal where he seeks the blessing and advice of lamas there. This is the best film to watch if you want an intimate experience of what it is like for Tibetans to travel to Tibet and feel the many conflicting forces at play in the minds and hearts of the Tibetan people - very insightful.


Seven Years in Tibet

1997, USA , historical drama, 139 minutes. Heinrich Harrier is an Austrian mountaineer who is forced to be a hero for the Nazi propaganda. He leaves Austria in 1939 to climb a mountain in the Himalayas . Through a series of circumstances (including POW camp), he and fellow climber Peter Aufschnaiter become the only two foreigners in the Tibetan Holy City of Lhasa. There, Heinrich's life changes forever as he becomes a close confidant to the Dalai Lama.


1997, USA , historical drama. 128 minutes, Director Marin Scorcese. In 1937, in a remote area of Tibet close to the Chinese border, a two year old child is identified as the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, the compassionate Buddha. Two years later, the child is brought to Lhasa where he is schooled as a monk and as head of state amidst the colour and pageantry of Tibetan culture. The film follows him into adulthood: when he is 14, the Chinese invade Tibet and he is forced into a shaky coalition government; he travels to China to meet with a cynical Mao; and, finally, in 1959, ill and under siege, he flees to India . Throughout, he has visions of his people's slaughter under Chinese rule.

The Saltmen of Tibet / Die Salzmanner von Tibet

1997, Germany , adventure, 108 minutes. In Tibet 's Changtang region, nomads harvest salt to buy barley. A clan prepares four of its men for an annual trek to Lake Tsento , where they rake salt from shoals into piles, then into bags, and onto their yaks to return, 90-days in all. After picking an auspicious day to depart, they feast, sing, tell stories, and race horses. Women are forbidden on this sacred trip. All is ritualized: Margen cooks, Pargen prepares burnt offerings and distributes meat, Zopon cares for the caravan of 160 yaks, Bopsa bends his strong back to arduous work. To each other they speak the secret language of saltmen; they pray and observe exemplary behaviour. The goddess of the lake smiles upon them.

Dreams of Tibet

1997, TV Frontline series, documentary, 55 minutes. Journalist and China watcher Orville Schell explores the clash of values between American opinion of China 's human rights record and the uncomprehending and intransigent Chinese leadership. Interviewees include actors, directors, musicians, and political figures who discuss the history of Tibet and its yearning for political independence. Richard Gere and Adam Yauch are converts to Buddhism. [ Alexandria , VA. ] : PBS Video.

Tibet - On the Edge of Change

1997, documentary, 55 minutes. This video features His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, who recounts the harrowing days when China invaded Tibet in 1950. Despite its status as an independent country, Tibet was viewed by the Chinese as a province. In the process of taking Tibet , the Chinese killed many thousands of civilians, monks, and nuns. The religious and political repression caused many people, including the Dalai Lama and his entourage, to seek safety in exile. Archival film footage graphically tells the story.

Escape From Tibet

1997, United Kingdom, TV. Director Nick Grey. This documentary is about a group of young Tibetans escaping from Tibet into India . Little wonder that more and more Tibetans are escaping from the torture, persecution and oppression which they face daily in their own country. To o so they must travel 1.600 miles with no maps or specialist clothing. The journey takes them from sub-zero temperatures at altitude of 19,000 feet through the searing heat of Kathmandu . And the elements aren't their only. For before they are registered as refugees, they could face deportation as illegal aliens and be returned to Tibet . In Kathmandu , escapees are met by an official of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile and only if they are granted refugee papers, may they continue their journey to Dharamsala. All Tibetans who reach Dharamsala are granted an audience with the Dalai Lama who tells them the last thing they wish to hear - that they must return to Tibet in order to preserve Tibet 's unique cultural identity which must not be allowed to disappear. 50 minutes, Yorkshire Television.

The Spirit doesn't Come Anymore

1997, Nepal , documentary, 38 minutes. Directors Tsering Rhitar & Sherab Lhawang. The practice of shamans invoking spirits/protectors to ward off evil and cure disease has been a significant feature of Tibetan social life for over a millennium. Pao Wangchuk, 78, is the thirteenth in an unbroken line of spiritual mediums, living and practicing his craft this side of the Himalaya in the Tibetan camp in Pokhara , Nepal . The source of the old man's despair is Karma, his eldest son and heir-to-be, who may not be able to continue the family calling.

Tomb Raider II

1997, USA , action adventure. Adventuress Lara Croft is back, and this time after the mysterious Dagger of Xian. Thought to have powers of the dragon, The Dagger of Xian is wanted by two people: Lara Croft and mob boss Marco Bartoli. Lara, of course, wants the dagger to add to her collection. Bartoli on the other hand wants the dagger for its power. Lara must race through Tibet , Venice , and even in a sunken ship to get to the Dagger of Xian before Bartoli does.

Destination, Lhasa

1997, approx. 49 minutes. Oracle Pictures. Portrays China 's military takeover of Tibet (1950-1952) against the backdrop of a Cold War mania. A breathtaking portrayal of China 's military takeover of Tibet against the backdrop of Cold War mania, with stunning and shocking visual and sounds, including classified Chinese military footage, never before seen in the West. After the failure of a CIA led resistance, which forced His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama to exile in India , the Nobel Peace Prize laureate has vowed to use non-violent means to end conflicts, which inspired many and made him a household name worldwide.

Strange Spirit - One Country's Occupation

1997, Cinema Guild, New York , 42 minutes. A documentary film chronicling the Chinese invasion and brutal occupation of Tibet from the first battles in 1950 to the present day. Includes interviews with Tibetan exiles including soldiers who describe the fall of the capital city of Lhasa and how they smuggled the Dalai Lama across the Himalayas into India . Tibet 's "warrior nun", Ani Pachen, describes her 21-year imprisonment while other former prisoners describe executions, mass graves and suicides during their years of incarceration. Chinese police footage shows the brutal suppression of Tibetans engaged in pro-independence demonstrations. A film that revisits the invasion and occupation of Tibet by those who lived through it. Former soldiers and other exiles talk about the events that led to the occupation of Tibet by the Chinese. The interviewees recall the horrors of being undermanned and under-armed in their fight to resist the takeover, and, all describe their brutal treatment while held prisoners, prisoners who were submitted to torture. Family of those who resisted the invasion were often jailed, tortured and/or killed. Nearly 6000 monasteries were reported to have been destroyed or turned into prisons. Among those interviewed: Ani Pachen [captured while taking arms provided by the CIA], Palden Gyatso [Monk, imprisoned for 33 years], Janipa Phuntsok [Imprisoned 26 years], Lhasang Tsering [Co-founder, Amnye Machen Institute], Ngawang Lhakdol [Nun, imprisoned 4 months], Thupten Yondon [Nun imprisoned 14 months], Ngawang Choedon [Nun imprisoned 3 years, 6 months], Notes: A film by Ronny Novick and Rebecca McClen Novick. Camera by the Novicks. Edited by Mitch Temkin. Additional Editing by Jimmy A. Grama. Original music written and performed by Marston Smith.

Wonders of the Himalayas

1997, ca. 49 minutes, Oracle Pictures. An introduction to the fascinating culture, history, and religion of Tibet , once home to the world acclaimed non-violence and religious campaigner, His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, through the eyes and lenses of native Tibetan cameramen. It takes viewers from Yalung Valley , the birthplace of Tibetan civilization to the holy sites and prominent monasteries of Central Tibet .

Kingdom of the Lost Boy

1997, 75-minute, Juniper Productions, London . BBC1 21 April. The programme reports on the discovery and appointment of a new Panchen Lama - who, second only to the Dalai Lama. is a religious leader of major significance to the Tibetan community and the Buddhist faith. At the time the Dalai Lama chose a boy to be the true Panchen the Chinese Government performed a pseudo-Buddhist ceremony to choose their own reincarnation of the Panchen The child selected by the Dalai Lama, now six years old has since disappeared. The other child has been enthroned as the Panchen Lama.

Warrior Songs

1997, Coproduced by the National Film Board of Canada, 58 minutes. The legendary warrior-king Gesar of Ling is brought to life in this sweeping interpretation of an ancient Tibetan saga. Featuring performances by Yo Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, and Peter Serkin, Warrior Songs blends the music of Peter Lieberson, dance and storytelling to recount the deeds of Gesar, the enlightened sage, as he battles the demons which threaten to enslave humanity to become warrior-king of Ling.

A Stranger in My Native Land

1997, 33 minutes. By Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam. For the first time since Chinese occupation, filmmaker Tenzing Sonam, a Tibetan in exile, returns to Tibet to discover his homeland and his family connections.

Tibetan Pilgrimage

1997, 42 minutes. This film is an impression of Tibet by an American woman who traveled there in 1992. Her journey covered over 2,000 miles by road in the Tibetan Autonomous Region and adjoining areas of Ethnic Tibet. It takes one over the high Tibetan Plateau, along the Quinghai Tibetan highway, over mountain passees, into monasteries and temples, as well as into Lhasa and around central Tibet . Rare footage of seldom seen areas. Updated in 1997. Breathtaking scenery. A sympathetic portrait of Tibetan people. Spectacular art work. A fascinating tour by a sensitive enlightened film maker.

Why Are We Silent?

1997, 1 minute. Sixty second Public Service Announcement - Movie trailer. Starring Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Goldie Hawn, Alanis Morissette, Julia Roberts, Sting and Adam Yauch recite portions of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights in support of Tibet . Has been shown on TV and in theatres in Australia , France , Germany , Israel , Italy , New Zealand , South Africa , Tasmania , the U.K. and USA . Has played in film festivals in New York , Seattle , Telluride, Taos , Palm Springs , Sonoma , Beverly Hills , Sao Paulo , Brazil and Geneva , Switzerland . Available on 35mm. Won a Gold Addy Award, San Jose 1997 and Best Short Subject Human Rights, International Humanitarian Award, 1998. Robin Garthwait and Dan Griffin, Producers Garthwait & Griffin Films.

The Knowledge of Healing

1997, 87 minutes. The first full length film dealing extensively with Tibetan Medicine, one of the most highly developed medical systems in the world. The film features Dr. Tenzin Choedrak, senior personal physician to His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. In this film we hear about the latest scientific investigations into the healing properties of Tibetan medications. Director Franz Reichle.

Seeds of Tibet : Voices of Children in Exile

1997, documentary, 26 minutes. Directors Toby Beach and Peter Yost. Follows Tibetan refugee children as they struggle to rebuild their lives and preserve their ancient culture in northern India . The children introduce us to their exiled community and demonstrate their passion for everything from modern Buddhist roller-skating. The film speaks to all communities where children face violence, separation from their families, or a rapidly changing world that leaves them alienated and adrift. Includes the Dalai Lama, and music by Philip Glass and Mickey Hart.


Seven Years in Tibet

1998, 79 minutes, Kino Video , US . Reissue of 1956 film. A reconstructed account of an Austrian mountain climber's escape from a British internment camp in India during World War II and his twenty-one-month journey through the Himalayas to safety in the forbidden city of Lhasa, where he befriended the young Dalai Lama and was allowed to photograph the breathtaking architecture, pageantry and populace of this remote paradise. Smuggled out of Tibet , Harrer's 16mm color footage is featured in this account and records the Dalai Lama's escape to India with the red Chinese army in hot pursuit.


1998, USA , drama, 97 minutes. This movie, created by Tibetans in exile, accurately portrayes the modern Tibet . This picks up 40 years after 7 Years in Tibet and Kundun leave off. This story, based on true events in Tibet tells the tales of three children, Dorjee, Pema and Dolkar, who grow apart after witnessing the murder of their grandfather. Dorjee becomes a bum, Dolkar a Chinese pop singer, and Pema a nun.Dolkar enjoys her life as a singer with her Chinese boyfriend and often sings pro-chinese anthems for the money it brings her (much to Dorjee's obvious dismay.) When she is offered a chance at a televised concert shown all over China, she is thrilled, however when her cousin Pema is released into her care after suffering Chinese brutality in prison, she must re-think all of her ideals. Dorjee befriends a young american tourist named Amy, who has learnt Tibetan in school. After initially teasing her, he shows her the REAL Lhasa , and enlists her help in recording and smuggling out information about the abuse Pema has suffered. Pema is haunted by the memories of her grandfather's murder and while walking in Lhasa one day, starts to protest the Chinese occupation, whereupon she is sent into political prison. There she must use all of her will power and faith to keep her and her roommate from the convent alive. The story keeps you on the edge of your seat, tugs at your heartstrings, and will leave you shocked, if not in tears.

Free Tibet

1998, 90 minutes. A feature-length documentary film of the first Tibetan Freedom Concert held at San Francisco Golden Gate Park , June, 1996. Includes live performances and backstage footage with appearances and commentaries by performers and concertgoers. Contains rare footage of Tibet before and after the Chinese occupation, as well as interviews with the Dalai Lama. Director Sarah Pirozek.

Giant Lizards Eat Tibet

1998, animated short.

Sacred Heart of Asia

1998, documentary, 50 minutes. Director Goutam Ghose. This film contains rare archival footage of ceremonies and ritual public festivals at the Potala, the Dalai Lama's summer palace and the Jakang temple recorded before China 's invasion of Tibet . We witness the siege of Ganden Monastery as well as recent footage, shot under the constraints of government approval, showing the Tibetans striving to rebuild their homes and temples in the wake of China 's repression. Narrated by George Roubicek. Voices include: Nadim Sawalha as Hari Ahiuwalia, John Baddeley as a Sherpa, and Amit Roy as Indra Rawat. Music by Goutam Ghose and Arthur Gracias. Photography by Goutam Ghose, Kabir Kahn, Bejoy Anand, and Jagannath Guha. Edited by John Hackney. Directed by Goutam Ghose. Written and produced by Michael Haggiag.

Secret Heart of Asia . Buddha on the silk road

1998, US, 60 minutes. Features Xuan Zang, the famous 7th century monk, scholar, diarist and poet, as he travels the Silk Road in search of the original scriptures of the Buddha Sutras.

Secret Heart of Asia . Inside Tibet

1998, US, 60 minutes. Features rare archival footage of ceremonies and ritual public festivals at the Potala, the Dalai Lama's summer palace and the Jokang temple recorded before China 's invasion of Tibet . Witnesses the siege of Ganden Monastery as well as recent footage showing the Tibetans striving to rebuild their homes and temples in the wake of China 's repression.

Tian yu / Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl

1998, 100 minutes. Director Joan Chen. Young teen girl Xiu Xiu is sent away to a remote corner of the Sichuan steppes for manual labor in 1975 (sending young people to there was a part of Cultural Revolution in China ). A year later, she agrees to go to even more remote spot with a Tibetan saddle tramp Lao Jin to learn horse herding. The movie takes place in mainland China near the city of Chengdu during the mid-1970s. A fifteen year-old girl, Wen Xiu (nicknamed Xiu Xiu, and played by Lu Lu), is joining the core of youths who are sent into the country to be properly "educated" (through hard labor) in service to their country. After an exemplary record on her first assignment, Wen is transferred to the Tibetan borderlands to study under the tutelage of Lao Jin (Lopsang), a master horse herder. She is supposed to be there for six months. Lao proves to be a gentle man who is at home with animals and nature, but uncomfortable around humans. Gradually, he develops a deep affection for the girl under his care, and, because he is unable to function sexually, there is no danger that the relationship will become inappropriate. The months pass, with Wen Xiu and Lao Jin living in easy communion, but she makes no secret of the fact that when her tour of duty is up, she intends to return home to Chengdu . To her, life in isolation is worse than death – it is endurable only for a short time. But six months pass and she is not recalled. Shortly thereafter, a peddler from the city visits Lao Jin and hints that, in return for sexual favors, he might be able to pull a few strings to get Wen Xiu home. He becomes the first of many male visitors to share her bed. All promise results; none are able to deliver them. And, through all of this, Lao Jin must sit by and watch. He knows that none of the men are sincere, but Wen Xiu is so blinded by her desire to leave that she cannot see what is obvious: she has become a whore, and is being paid with worthless promises. As its foundation, Xiu Xiu has the bedrock of two superbly-rendered, multidimensional characters. When the film opens, Wen Xui is an artless, optimistic young girl who faces the future with strength and courage. She is shy and sexually inexperienced, and refuses to undress in a situation where Lao Jin might catch her naked. By the time the closing credits roll, the hardships of her ordeal to return home have transformed her into a self-centered manipulator who uses sex as both a tool (to bribe men) and a weapon (to taunt Lao Jin). The tragedy is that she's still naïve enough (or perhaps desperate enough) not to realize that she is being used. 16 year-old actress Lu Lu gives an incredible performance as Wen Xiu, capturing the nuances of a role that demands great range. In her capable hands, Wen Xiu becomes a character we can sympathize with and cry for, yet, at the same time, despise her for what she is doing to Lao Jin. It is our ambiguity about Wen Xiu that fuels Xiu Xiu 's extraordinary power. Lao Jin is no less interesting, although our feelings about him are more clear-cut. He is a calm, self-assured man who loses himself completely to the girl who comes to live with him. Because of his inability to function sexually, his feelings for Wen Xiu come across as almost paternal, although it's clear that they run much deeper. He sees himself as her protector, although, because of an innate impotence (probably an extension of his sexual dysfunction), he is unable to save her from the human predators who stalk her. Nevertheless, even after it is clear what she has become, he persists in safeguarding the illusion of her innocence, although the reality of it has long since been lost. Only at the end are his eyes finally opened. Lopsang, the actor who essays this part, manages the difficult task of showing the complex web of pain, love, and frustration lurking beneath Lao Jin's seemingly-implacable exterior. It is a moving and subtle performance. Xiu Xiu is a film with few flaws. Not only are the protagonists effectively written and expertly portrayed, but the story constantly moves forward, projecting Wen Xiu and Lao Jin along well-defined character arcs. (Despite an epic feel, the film does not have a bloated running length – it clocks in at a crisp 100 minutes.) The cinematography, which captures spectacular views of the countryside as well as impressive shots of approaching thunderstorms, serves to enhance Xiu Xiu 's potent atmosphere. We see both the lonely desolation that is Wen Xiu's perspective of the borderlands as well as the comfortable solitude that is Lao Jin's. Xiu Xiu will never be shown in Communist China. The film's condemnation of the Cultural Revolution is overt. Although it only explicitly depicts the downfall of one girl, it hints at a widespread corruption that is terrible to contemplate. Unlike movies such as Farewell My Concubine and To Live , Xiu Xiu is not a product of the Chinese film industry, so there is no danger of it being suppressed.

Skutecny svet?

1998, Czechoslovakia , documentary. Meditative documentary about how a young Czech director sees Buddhism and the people in Tibet and India . Near New Age look at the world with many colourful pictures and New Age music.

In Search of Kundun with Martin Scorsese

1998, Hollywood Independent Film Distribution, California , 84 minutes. Documents Martin Scorsese's encounter with the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet during the making of his feature film, "Kundun." Mixes behind-the-scenes views of the making of the movie with archival film of Tibet and interviews with Tibetan cast members who relate their real-life experiences.

The Shadow Circus: The CIA in Tibet

1998, documentary, 50 minutes. Directors Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam. 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 CircUSA, was one of the CIA's longest running covert operations. The withdrawal of the CIA's support in 1969 was as abrupt as its initial involvement was unexpected: the Tibetans had simply fitted into America 's larger policy of destabilising or overthrowing Communist regimes, and when that no longer applied, they were abandoned. With unique archive footage and exclusive interviews with former resistance fighters and surviving CIA operatives, The Shadow Circus: The CIA in Tibet reveals for the first time this hitherto unknown chapter in Tibet's recent history - a tale that is both heroic and tragic, full of sad ironies and unexpected twists that overturn all preconceptions about both Tibet and the CIA.

Tashi Jong - a traditional Tibetan community in exile

1998, Berkeley , California , Tibetan Video Project, 45 minutes. This award-winning documentary chronicles the life of one of the first Tibetan refugee communities established in India by the renowed spiritual teacher, the 8th Khamtrul Rinpoche after the Chinese occupation of Tibet . Interweaves everyday rhythms and activities of laypeople and monks with intricate rituals and ceremonies of monastic life.

Missing In Tibet

1998, documentary, 30 minutes. Narrated by Goldie Hawn and Peter Coyote. After being awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study ethnomusicology at prestigious Middlebury College in Vermont Vermont , Ngawang Choephel's research took him to his native Tibet . In the midst of this research he was arrested by the Chinese authorities and sentenced to 18 years in prison. What was "the offense?" He videotaped Tibetan children and elders singing & dancing their traditional songs. His life story is interweaved with actual footage he shot prior to his detention. Played on PBS stations in Boston , Philadelphia , Seattle , Denver , San Jose ,. Buffalo , Anchorage , Fairbanks and Columbia , SC. Also broadcast nationally in Australia and Hungary . Won the Jury Award, Telluride Mountain Film Festival, 1997 and Best Short Subject Cultural Awareness, International Humanitarian Awards, 1998. Robin Garthwait and Dan Griffin, Producers Garthwait & Griffin Films.


1998, 28 minutes. A Tibetan monk formerly of Ganden Monastery Tibet , is now living in forced exile in Dharamsala India . This film is an interview with Bagdro where he relates his story of the terrible ordeal he experienced at the hands of the Chinese while imprisoned in Tibet for three years. Some may find some scenes and statements disturbing as Bagdro tells his story of "A Hell on Earth".


Himalaya – l'enfance d'un chef

1999, France , adventure drama, 108 minutes. An aging chief's last stand, lessons for the new, and the education of a young chief-to-be played against harsh Nature in Nepal 's Dolpo. When his son dies returning from Tibet 's salt lakes, Tinle blames Karma, his son's friend, refuses to give Karma his blessing as the new chief, and organizes a rival caravan to take the salt to lower Nepal to trade for grain. He, a few old men, his son's widow, his grandson, and his second son, a monk, set out on the arduous journey. Fearing storms, Karma has led his caravan out of the village before the auspicious day ordained by the lamas. Tinle's group catches Karma's before the final pass; the two stubborn men lock wills with Tinle's grandson watching.

Phorpa / The Cup

1999, Bhutan / Australia , adventure comedy, 93 minutes. The first Tibetan language feature film. While the soccer World Cup is being played in France , two young Tibetan refugees arrive at a monastery/boarding school in exile in India . Its atmosphere of serene contemplation is somewhat disrupted by soccer fever, the chief instigator being a young student, the soccer enthusiast Orgyen. Prevented by various circumstances from seeing the Cup finals on television in a nearby village, Orgyen sets out to organize the rental of a TV set for the monastery. The enterprise becomes a test of solidarity, resourcefulness and friendship for the students, while the Lama, head of the monastery, contemplates the challenges of teaching the word of Buddha in a rapidly changing world.

Hong he gu / Red River Valley

1999, China , 120 minutes. Director Feng Xiaoning. At the turn of the century, a young Chinese girl escapes from a religious sacrifice, and is rescued by an honorable Tibetan herdsman. The two fall in love, but problems arise when she is ignorant of their time-honored traditions and runs into trouble with a glamorous and proud Tibetan princess. Meanwhile, a British expedition is planning to invade the sacred mountain. Facing the country's enemy, the three set aside their disputes and jealousy, and join the militia force to protect their homeland. Very much a celebration of Chinese solidarity in the face of the return of Hong Kong to their control, this costume drama begins at the turn of the century as a virginal Chinese girl flees via a raging river from being sacrificed in a religious ceremony. When she emerges, she is in Tibet where she becomes part of a local community. At the same time, a Scottish explorer and his British interpreter enter the same area and are saved from execution by a Tibetan horseman who takes them back to his tribe. Following the Scotsman's departure, the interpreter (who decides he prefers village life to that of his fellow colonialists) begins falling for the beautiful daughter of the headman, but she wants the horseman. Unfortunately, he is interested in the Chinese girl. Trouble and much bloodshed occurs after the wicked Scotsman returns with British troops in hopes of colonizing Tibet .

Robert Thurman on Tibet : 1. The Ancient Kings and the Arrival of the Dharma, 2.The Later Spread of the Dharma – Saints, Sages and Adepts, 3. The Dharma State – Tibetan Lamas and Modernity and the 21st Century

1999, USA , 240 minutes. The leading American expert on the history and interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism, Robert A.F. Thurman provides a unique look into the history of this insulated country and culture in this three-part series. In part one Thurman traces the history of the unification of Tibet into a nation from a collection of separate clans. Following this consolidation was a period of importing Buddhist-centered civilization that dominated the East at that time. Thurman's seemingly inexhaustible scholarship and flair for storytelling make this history come alive. In the second volume Thurman chronicles the Tibetan culture's continued devotion to collecting and interpreting the Dharma from India , citing important heroes such as Milarepa and Tsong Khapa. In the third tape, the story continues detailing the changes that took place under the 5th Dalai Lama, including the dismantling of the country's military. Thurman's history ends with the disastrous Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet in the 1950s.

The Eight Movements Of Yantra Yoga - An Ancient Tibetan Tradition

1999. Video shot in Kathmandu and Pokhara ( Nepal ) with the backround of the Himalayan muontains, it is divided in two parts: the first with a didactic purpose, explaining the movements. In the second part Fabio Andrico performe the full sequence in order to allow anyone to follow it as a section of practice, to strengthen and Harmonize the Vital Energy. The video it is introduced by an explanation of Choegyal Namkhai Norbu 1999. Produced by Shang Shung Institute.

I'll Make You Happy

1999, drama. A young hooker must find the money to send her roommate to Tibet in order to fulfill his dreams. She discovers plans for an illegal steroid deal going down between her pimp and a coke addict. Her and the girls, a new male friend, and her agoraphobic, HIV positive father pull off the biggest heist of their lives when they manage to get away clean with the money.

Dharamsala - Tibet in exile

1999, 48 minutes, English, documentary. Director Leslye Abbey. A variety of Tibetans in exile in Dharamsala , India tell their stories of the Chinese cruelties to their people. They describe their history, their reorganization according to democratic principles and their goals for education and an eventual return to their homeland as a free and independent Tibet .

Journey inside Tibet

1999, Kihei , Hawaii , Dancing Dophin Press, 57 minutes. Journey inside Tibet with Paul Horn and Lama Tenzin. Witness the adventure of the Lama visiting his family for the first time in 40 years and Paul Horn recording his music in sacred Buddhist monastaries. The journey begins in Kathmandu and concludes in Lhasa , Tibet .

Tsampai Shenkhok

1999, Tibetan institute of performing arts, Dharamsala , India , 50 minutes. Tibetan with English subtitle This telefilm is a story of a family in Tibet today. The head of the family escapes from Chinese torture to India and his son leads a demonstration in Lhasa streets. He is finally arrested by the chinese police and tortures in the prison. A false case is registered against him and in the court of law the three are convicted and shot death. The court scene is an adeptation from a Hindi movie Shaheed and doesnot represent the real Tibet .


Jenseits von Tibet – Eine Liebe zwischen den Welten / Beyond Tibet

2000, Germany , documentary, 88 minutes. Director Solvieg Klassen. An unusual love story about German punk rocker Sandra H. and Tibetan lama and exile Ngawang Gelek. Fleeing a broken home, Sandra arrives in Berlin sometime in the 1980s. With the help of music and Buddhism, she manages to kick her drug habit.

Tibet 's Stolen Child

2000, USA , documentary. Together with some of the greatest peacemakers of our time, a young filmmaker searches for the truth about Tibet's Panchen Lama, a boy whose fate could affect the destiny of a country struggling to avoid the destruction of its spiritual traditions. A young boy, the Panchen Lama, is the center of a swirling storm of international controversy. Identified by the Dalai Lama as Tibet 's second highest spiritual leader, this child was kidnapped by the Chinese government just days after the Dalai Lama's announcement. Compelling personal accounts by six Nobel Peace Laureates and others show how this is not only a story of Tibet and a small boy ... it is a story of the world

Yixizhuoma / Song of Tibet

2000, China , adventure, 102 minutes. Director Xie Fei. The remarkable story of Yixihuoma (Yixi) is given as a gift to her hurting, modern world, computer hip, granddaughter, Dawa. In far off mountainoUSA, isolated Tibet , the beautiful Yixi finds herself loved by three men in her life. While she is betrayed or deserted in different ways by each of the three, they never stop loving her - and she keeps alive in her heart her a constant love for them. She also has an awesome devotion to her husband (one of the three) and children, at one point making an arduous trek across Tibet 's forbidding mountains and through the mountains' treacherous weather to find them and save their lives. And she was beautiful when she was young ... and when she grew old. And she sang beautiful tone poems of a beloved Tibetan poet. Actresses Danzengzuoga and Laqiong portray this steadfast, devoted, powerful, sensitive, loving character with pure dramatic artistry. Dawangdui and Renqingdunzhu, as her husband Jiacuo, and the rest of the ensemble cast deserve recognition for their worthy contributions to this fine movie. Special notes of recognition go to Director Fei Xie for bringing Yixi to USA , and to the cinematographer, Quanyi Zhang, for bringing a fabulous lost horizon to life.

Pavarotti and Friends for Cambodia and Tibet

2000, Italy , TV music documentary.

Bonnington's Magic Mountain

2000, United Kingdom , TV, 180 minutes. An account of Chris Bonnington's expedition to a 23000 ft mountain in Tibet .

The Girls From HARM

2000, adventure. Three sexy young women in figure hugging leotards are H.A.R.M.'s agents sent after a stolen Tibetan artefact that can have damaging results if handled by evil people - like those under the pay of the Conclave, a world (bad) world spy ring.

Windham Hill – Tibet

2000, musical travelogue, 54 minutes. Each program in the Windham Hill collection combines the relaxing, ethereal music the label is known for, with visuals that complement the mood the music strives for. In this particular episode, footage from the remote and tragic land of Tibet is combined with the music of Mark Isham. Besides a simple music video, this tape offers a poignant look at the day-to-day activity of Buddhist monks from the region.

Karmapa - the lion begins to roar

2000, Honolulu , Hawaii , Tsurphu Foundation, 85 minutes. Footage of dharma teaching given by the Karmapa at Tsurphu Monastery in Tibet , July 7, 1999 . Includes rare scenes in Tibet of debating, performing the lama dances and giving empowerments.

In Search of History: Tibet 's Lost Paradise – Shangri-la

2000, documentary, 50 minutes.



2001, Germany , drama, 145 minutes. A spiritual love-story set in the majestic landscape of Ladakh, Himalayas . Samsara is a quest; one man's struggle to find spiritual Enlightenment by renouncing the world. And one woman's struggle to keep her enlightened love and life in the world. But their destiny turns, twists and comes to a surprise ending.

Seven Dreams of Tibet

2001, Netherlands , documentary. It all started when the film `Seven Years in Tibet ' was being shot. Namgyal Lhamo and her sister Chuckie were in Argentina to work as extras. During a bus journey they heard a Tibetan song, sung in a beautiful male voice. At first Chuckie thought it was a tape and wanted to ask the driver for it, but the singer Tobden Gyamtso, another extra, was in fact sitting at the front of the bus. There and then they decided to start a music group: Gang Chenpa (People from the Land of the Snow).In Seven Dreams of Tibet Namgyal Lhamo, who lives in the Netherlands, travels to Dharamsala in search of the songs and stories of the refugees who are crossing the mountains to Dharamsala to have an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Dharamsala offers a glimpse of Tibet , where human rights are being violated even as we speak. About 1.2 million Tibetans have been put to death in the most horrific way. One monk who had fled the country says: "We are even robbed of the right to die in our own way with some sort of dignity". Religion plays an important part for the Tibetan people in internalizing the horrors of the past. Even after all he had been through, after his release Tobden tried to seek reconciliation with the guard who had tortured him in prison. It seems that the Tibetan people are better able to cope with these horrors in their lives than others. Is it because of their belief in Karma, which may hold the promise of better times in the next life? One day they hope to return to Tibet . But to what sort of Tibet would they be returning? And will people there still speak Tibetan or listen to their songs?

Tibetan Refugee

2001, documentary, 30 minutes.

Paul Horn - Tibet – Journey to the Roof of the Word

2001, documentary. Narrated by Kris Kristofferson. The documentary Journey Inside Tibet features Lama Tenzin making contact with his family for the first time in four decades, while he travels with Paul Horn who records music from a variety of Buddhist monasteries. The DVD release of the film includes a CD of the music Horn committed to tape.


Wheel of Life

2002, Germany , documentary. Director Werner Herzog. Account of kalachikra ceremonies in India and Austria during 2002.

Timber to Tibet

2002, documentary, 28 minutes. Director Mohan Mainali. Bhotkhola is one of the 20 beyul, which is what Tibetans call the sites of paradise in the Himalaya . The local people and the monks believe Bhotkhola was tucked away among the mountains by the gods so that it would not be disturbed. That is why, they say, it should be preserved and protected from human defilement. Yet, the people have turned to destroying trees that take a hundred and fifty years to mature. Caravans bearing timber to Tibet and bringing back foodstuff to Nepal is a common sight all over Bhotkhola. This film deals with the pro-conservationist tradition and people's compulsion to cut down the priceless Himalayan forest which will not regenerate once it is gone.

Tibetan Refugees: A Struggle Beyond Generations

2002, 120 minutes. Director Kunihiko Tanaka. More than forty years have passed since the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, a Nobel laureate, was forced to flee his homeland. Yet Free Tibet remains a living struggle for his people.


Bulletproof Monk

2003, USA , Kung fu action adventure, 103 minutes. For 60 years a mysterious monk with no name has zigzagged the globe to protect an ancient scroll - a scroll that holds the key to unlimited power. Now the Monk must look for a new scrollkeeper. Kar is an unlikely candidate, a streetwise young man whose only interest is himself. But when he inadvertently saves the Bulletproof Monk from capture, the two become partners in a scheme to save the world from the scroll's most avid pursuer. Packed with spectacular special effects and martial arts action, the Monk, Kar, and a sexy Russian mob princess called Bad Girl must struggle to find, face, and fight the ultimate enemy.

Tibet – Cry of the Snow Lion

2003, USA , historical documentary, 104 minutes. Ten years in the making, this feature-length documentary was filmed during a remarkable nine journeys throughout Tibet , India and Nepal . It brings audiences to the long-forbidden "rooftop of the world" with an unprecedented richness of imagery... from rarely-seen rituals in remote monasteries, to horse races with Khamba warriors; from brothels and slums in the holy city of Lhasa, to magnificent Himalayan peaks still travelled by nomadic yak caravans. The dark secrets of Tibet 's recent past are powerfully chronicled through riveting personal stories and interviews, and a collection of undercover and archival images never before assembled in one documentary. A definitive exploration of a legendary subject, TIBET : CRY OF THE SNOW LION is an epic story of courage and compassion.

Det Forbudte Landshold

2003, Germany , documentary. This documentary feature describes the first-ever match of the Tibetan national soccer team, and the circumstances under which it was played. The match was played in Denmark against the Greenlandic national team and was preceded by much difficulty for the players and for the Danish enthusiasts who were responsible for the initiative.

A Monk's Voice

2003, documentary. For half a century, Tibet has been under the shadow of Chinese rule. Despite Chinese attempts to oppress all glimpses of Tibetan culture, Tibetans have tenaciously maintained their heritage. This film, told through the story of one Tibetan monk, documents the firm grasp Tibetans still hold on their culture. Though banished to India , this very special monk actively and optimistically works to preserve his religion, his people and Tibet itself.

Muna Madan

2003, Nepal . An epic tragedy, based on Nepal 's most famous epic poem. Madan, a lower-class worker, is forced by poverty and mounting debts to go to Lhasa , Tibet , leaving behind his lonely mother and beloved.

Return to Tibet

2003, documentary, 39 minutes. Directors Skip Blumberg and Nicholas Vreeland.

Dreaming of Tibet

2003, USA , documentary, 58 minutes. Director Will Parrinello.

Paul Horn – Mount Kailask – Return to Tibet

2003, musical documentary. The sequel to Journey Inside Tibet, this extraordinary film documents musician Paul Horn's return pilgrimage to one of the most spiritual and remote places in the world. According to four Eastern religions, Mount Kailash is the spiritual center of the universe. This is a beautifully filmed program with a deep message regarding overcoming obstacles, enduring when the odds are against you and getting in touch with a simpler and quieter lifestyle .

Exploring Tibet

2003, USA , travelogue. Director Sheryl Brakey. 'Exploring Tibet ' tours Tibet from Lhasa to Kathmandu , Nepal showing us how Tibet looks today. It gives us a glimpse of a area of the world which has long fascinated us. Tibet has been known as the mysterious isolated Buddhist kingdom locked away in the Himalaya Mountains , on the roof of the world. Not until the mid 1980s was Tibet open to visitors. 'Exploring Tibet ' starts with the history of the Tibetan people, their early kings and how Buddhism came to Tibet . Cross the Yarling River by small boat to the ancient monastery of Samye where the 'Great Debate' was held between Indian and Chinese teachings of Buddhism. A brief description is attempted to explain the difference in teachings. View how the Tibetan people live today in their villages and as nomads. Learn what they eat and how they harvest their crops. Children are seen studying in a school and at a monastery. In Lhasa , the Potala dominates the skyline, as it sits on a hill overlooking the Holy City . The Potala was the seat of government for the Dali Lamas. The Dali Lama is considered the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. The Potala today is a museum and monastery. Visit the the Jokhang Temple , the most revered religious structure in Tibet before visiting the monasteries of Sera and Drepung on the outskirts of Lhasa . Travel over the ' Friendship Road ' to Kathmandu , Nepal going over passes which are from 13,500 to 17,300 feet high. Pass through the Himalaya Mountans seeing the mightiest of all - Mt. Everest at 29,029 feet. Stop in the towns of Gyantse and Shigatse. In Gyantse, see the fortress of Gyantse Dzong, the Pelkor Chode Monastery, and the magnificant tiered Gyantse Kumbun.In Shigatse, see the important Tashilhunpo Monastery--seat of the Panchen Lama. The Panchen Lama is second only to the Dali Lama in spiritual importance to the Tibetans.

Destiny's Children: Voices of Tomorrow's Tibet

2003, documentary, 28 minutes. Director Pimmi Pande.

Words Of My Perfect Teacher

2003, Canada , documentary, 103 minutes. Directors Lesley Ann Patten & Kent Martin. Award-winning Canadian filmmaker Lesley Ann Patten presents a hard-fought and revealing feature-length 35mm documentary about Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche from the perspective of three students, Luc Dierckx, Louise Rodd and herself.

A Man Called Nomad

2003, documentary, 39 minutes. Director Alex Gabbay. A man called nomad is a story of a man trying to adjust to the shifting realities of the modern world and how he can retain within his family a sense of place as fences begin to cross the once-open plain. For generations, these plains provided ample grazing for his people's yak herds. Looking into the life of a 30-year old Choegatar, father and provider, we are invited into a world where the temptations of the town intrude. Synthetic fiber is replacing wool, and a man needs capital. This is an honest portrayal of life changing, all in the backdrop of unrivalled personal and natural beauty.

Yogis of Tibet

2003, documentary, 77 minutes. Since the invasion of Tibet over 50 years ago, China has systematically destroyed the Tibetan culture. One of the most profound losses is the tradition of the great master yogis. The entire system which supported these fascinating mind masters has been inexorably eliminated. In order to record these mystical practitioners for posterity, the filmmakers were given permission to film heretofore secret demonstrations and to conduct interviews on subject matter rarely discussed. This profound historical, spiritual and educational film will someday be the last remnant of these amazing practitioners .

Lost Treasures of Tibet

2003, documentary, 60 minutes. Director Leisl Clark. The Thubchen monastery has long been a hallmark of Buddhist art, with its elaborate wall paintings. This episode of Nova chronicles how the pictures came to be, and the battle over how to preserve them.


2003, Hong Kong / France , karate action adventure, 107 minutes . Yin Feï is an acrobat who traverses the world with his brother and a troop of circus artists. For centuries, a legend says that her ancestors would be charged to ensure the protection of Shakira, a crowned relic, but she does not believe anything of it. Until the day when her former companion reappears with a medallion mentioned in the legend which could lead him to this Buddhist treasure. Yin Feï launches out then in a tour which will make her cross China and Tibet as well as the desert of Dunhuang . But a badly disposed collector is also interested by this relic and is ready with all to have it in his possession.


Ce qu'il reste de mous / What remains of us

2004, documentary. This bold documentary follows a young Tibetan refugee in Quebec as she returns to her native land carrying a video message by the Dalai Lama. Tibetan families gather around, transfixed by the images of the leader who since 1950 has been trying to obtain permission from the Chinese authorities to return to his homeland and his people.

Tibet – El techo del mundo

2004, TV documentary. Deals with life in modern day Tibet , it's history as well as the conflict between the Tibetans and the Chinese, includes interviews with Tibetan government officials as well as the Dalai Lama and their views on the conflict.

Michael Palin's Himalaya

2004, United Kingdom , TV travelogue documentary.

Cha ma gu dao zi lie

2004. Since ancient times, China 's two primary land routes connecting it to the outside world have been the Silk Road in the north, and Tea Horse-Road in the south. The mountain village of Bingzhongluo-Tibetan for " Village of Tibetans " is located on the high plateau of western Yunnan Province , at the foot of Gaoligong Mountain . Travelling along the Nujiang River , one can reach the southern Tibetan border town of Chawalong-Tibetan for " Valley of Dry Heat ." But with no roads connecting the two places, since ancient times the transport of all goods and supplies has relied entirely on horse caravans. The journey of more than 90 kilometres zigzags through high mountain slopes, dense forests, gorges and wastelands. Year-round caravans have plied the Tea-Horse Road , traversing the Hengduan Mountains , packing tea, salt, grains and other provisions. Travelling upstream along the Three Rivers, the route reaches Tibet , Nepal , Bhutan , India and Western Asia , ultimately linking to Europe . Travelling downstream along the Three Rivers, the route reaches Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. Created more than two thousand years ago, the Tea-Horse Road is the highest and most perilous of the world's ancient routes, and to this day still show vibrant signs of life. This film is a record of the Tea-Horse Road, the caravans of the Nujiang River Valley, and the aboriginal peoples who live there -- Mm. Ding who has a family with 15 members speaking 6 languages, a pastor who was jailed for 15 years for his believing, a 104 years old lady who walks through 3 centuries, a village head whose wife run away, a caravan who shares one wife with his elder brother, a young lama in the Buddhist temple who feels lonely sometimes, a 82 years old caravan leader whose story is a legend of the Tibetan caravans.

Tibetan Refugee

2004, documentary. Thousands of Tibetans who've escaped from Tibet pour into the refugee centre in Dharamsala India every year. Children whose parents have sent them to an uncertain future, and monks and nuns who were tortured or forced out of Tibet are featured in this documentary. The filmmaker asks the same three questions; Why did you leave Tibet ? What was the journey like? What do you expect to find in India ? Featured are officials from the Tibetan Govt. in Exile, grammy award winner Yungchen Lhamo, Robert Thurman, The State Oracle of Tibet, and his holiness, the Dalai lama.

Tibetan Portraits

2004, 37 minutes. Director Berit Madsen. Made originally for a Children's Ethnographic Exhibition in Denmark , this includes three ethnographic films from the Tibetan exile society to give a sensuous glimpse into Tibetan Children's life around the big Buddhist stupa in Kathmandu , Nepal .

Devotion and Defiance : Buddhism and the struggle for Religious Freedom in Tibet

2004, documentary, 35 minutes. This powerful film contains extensive footage from monasteries in Tibet and chronicles the complex struggle of monks and nuns who defy the Chinese government's heavy-handed attempt at control. Produced by the International Campaign for Tibet . Contains rare footage shot in Tibet in the last three years.

We're No Monks

2004, documentary, 127 minutes. Director Pema Dhondup. We're No Monks shows a world of Tibetans sharply different from that usually perceived by the west. Amid the cluster of Tibetan exiled government offices, institutions and organizations in Dharamsala, ordinary refugees live with hopes of returning to Tibet someday. However, a generation has changed and so have dreams, desires and aspirations of the people, especially the younger ones. This story is about them.

Magic Mountain

2004, 60 minutes. Directors Geoff Dunlop, Sylvia van Kleef & Thomas Kelly. This documentary is about a group of pilgrims on a journey to Mount Kailash in Tibet , a sacred site to four religions: Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and the Bonpos. The story concentrates on a small group of people from Humla , Nepal on their journey across the Himalayas , focusing on the personal motives of the pilgrims, the stories they tell each other on the journey and the religious and cultural ceremonies they attend.

The Forbidden Team

2004, documentary, 54 minutes. Directors Arnold Krard & Rasmus Dinesen. On 30th of June 2001, in Copenhagen , Denmark , a framework was formed for a historical football match; a match which FIFA and the Chinese government tried to prevent from taking place. The agreed upon match between Tibet and Greenland , would be the first international game ever played by Tibet . We follow the team from their first coaching sessions in Dharamsala , India - on a craggy, grassless pitch - to the last whistle in Copenhagen two years later.

Ke Ke Xi Li / Mountain Patrol

2004, China , 126 minutes. Director Lu Chuan. The story is about saving and protecting the Tibetan antelope, also called the Chiru. Lu Chuan hopes to win audiences with its profound reflection on belief and life.

A World Without Thieves

2004, Hong Kong , 120 minutes. Young migrant worker Root is convinced that he lives in a world without thieves. Having saved up about 60,000 yuan (US$7,500) after five years' hard work for Tibetan Buddhist monasteries on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, he decides to go back by train to his home village, build a house and get married, carrying with him all the cash in a schoolbag.

Die Expedition der Nazis

2004, 50 minutes, documentary, Germany . Account of the German expeditions to Tibet during the 1930s.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

2004, 100 minutes, feature, United States. Fantasy set in the 1940s where the hero and heroine chase an evil robot-inventor with plans for the destruction of the world to Tibet and the last valley of Shambala (Shangri-la) where his factory was located.

Page compiled by: Michael Organ. Last updated: 8 July 2005.

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