British Universities Film & Video Council

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Tibet: A Buddhist Trilogy (3 Parts)

Alternative title
Trilogy on Tibet, A
Synopsis
A digitally remastered reissue of the seminal trilogy of films on Tibet originally released in 1979, now on one DVD and containing additional materials and a new commentary.The trilogy portrays the unbroken continuity of Tibet’s ancient culture. The original films took four years to make and at the time the Tibetan way of life was still resonant with its ancient past and the Dalai Lama relatively unknown on the world stage. From a portrait of the Dalai Lama to an unprecedented revelation of the mystical world of monastic life this film takes the viewer on an intimate journey deep into the heart of an ancient Buddhist culture.

Commentary read by Thubten Jinpa. Written and directed by Graham Coleman, produced and photographed by David Lascelles. In Tibetan language with English commentary and subtitles. DVD Extras include a complete stereo recording of ‘A Beautiful Ornament’ the protective ritual associated with the meditational deity Tara, which forms the heart of Part 2 of the trilogy.
Language
Tibetan
Country
Great Britain
Year of release
2005
Year of production
1980
Documentation
Supporting website http://www.tibetantrilogy.org.uk/
Subjects
Philosophy; Religious studies
Keywords
Buddhism; Dalai Lama; death; Ladakh; monasteries; religious belief and practice; Tibet

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Format
Region 2 PAL
Price
£21.95
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
56, 129, 52 minutes
Year
2005

Sections

Title
Dalai Lama, The Monasteries and the People, The
Synopsis
Filmed in the Dalai Lama’s residence in Dharamsala, North India, and in the re-built Sera Monastery, the second largest monastery of the old Tibet, this opening part of the Trilogy observes the Dalai Lama in his dual role as Head of State and spiritual teacher. Interwoven with this personal portrait is an exploration of the ways in which the inner knowledge of Tibetan Buddhist culture is developed and refined in the monasteries and communicated into the lay community. The people of Tibet carried intact into the mid 20th century one of the world’s richest and most sophisticated ancient cultures. This is an introduction to that legacy.
Duration
56 mins

Title
Radiating the Fruit of the Truth
Synopsis
Part Two reveals the essence of the mystical philosophy of Tibetan Buddhism. The film follows the lamas of the Sakya monastery in Boudha, Nepal as they prepare to perform an ancient protective ritual associated with Tara known as a "Beautiful Ornament". The aim of ‘A Beautiful Ornament’ is to sweep away all the causes of harm in the society and it is one of the most popular rituals associated with the meditational deity TARA. The film displays both the outer form of the ritual and the visualisations developed during the practice in the imagination. The poetry of the text and the musical score conjoin to create a powerful cinematic and spiritual effect.
Duration
129 mins

Title
Fields of the Senses, The
Synopsis
Set in the majestic mountain landscape of Ladakh, the third part of the film is a study on the sacred nature of mind, body and place. It follows the monks and farmers through a day, ending with an unflinching depiction of the monastery’s moving ritual response to a death in the community. As in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the departed is guided through the dream-like intermediate state between death and birth. It illustrates three basic tenets of Buddhism: impermanence, non-attachment, and the right attitude to death, by an observation of the pattern of changes on the face of the mountain landscape of Ladakh, the ritualistic activities of the farmers in the fields and in the formal ritual innovations and studies of the monks.
Duration
52 mins

Title
Beautiful Ornament, A
Synopsis
A complete stereo recording of ‘A Beautiful Ornament’, the protective ritual associated with the meditational deity Tara, which forms the heart of Part 2 of the trilogy.

Production Company

Name

Thread Cross Films

Sponsor

Name

Orient Foundation, The

Contact
Graham Coleman (President)
Email
g.coleman@orient.org
Phone
01225 336010
Fax
01225 311362
Address
Victoria House
15 Gay Street
Bath
BA1 2PH

Distributor

Name

Wisdom Books

Email
sales@wisdom-books.com
Web
http://www.wisdom-books.com/ External site opens in new window
Phone
020 8553 5020
Fax
020 8553 5122
Address
25 Stanley Road
Ilford
IG1 1RW

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