Canadian TV To Host Tibet Films in Honor of the Dalai Lama’s 75th Birthday
A Canadian TV station is broadcasting a series of Tibet-related films from July 6, 2010 as a tribute to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his 75th birthday. In a press statement, VisionTV, a channel that broadcasts multi-faith and multicultural programming, says the program consist of “a series of documentary and feature film presentations that examine his life and legacy and explore the many different aspects of the Buddhist tradition.”
Following is the full text of the statement posted on VisionTV’s website.
A leader. A teacher. An inspiration The Dalai Lama – a 75th Birthday TributeRelease Date: June 16, 2010
For as long as space enduresAnd for as long as living beings remainUntil then may I too abideTo dispel the misery of the world– Daily prayer of the Dalai Lama
He was born on July 6, 1935, to a humble farming family in northeastern Tibet. He would become one of the world’s most revered individuals: at once a serene spiritual figure and a symbol of steadfast opposition to totalitarian rule.
Tenzin Gyatso, better known as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, is the Tibetan spiritual leader and head of state. Driven from Tibet in 1959, following an uprising against the Chinese occupation of the country, he presides over a government-in-exile in neighbouring India, and champions the use of non-violence to break China’s grip on his native land.
The recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, the Dalai Lama is one of the very few world religious leaders whose message has universal appeal. Traveling the world to raise awareness of his country’s plight, he has reached out to other faiths and shared with millions the essentials of Tibetan Buddhism – a spiritual philosophy grounded in compassion, tolerance and respect for all life.
Beginning on July 6, multi-faith network VisionTV celebrates the Dalai Lama’s 75th birthday with a series of documentary and feature film presentations that examine his life and legacy and explore the many different aspects of the Buddhist tradition.
The Dalai Lama: a 75th Birthday Tribute on VisionTV
** VISIONTV PREMIERE **Documentary – The Path to ShaolinTuesday, July 6, 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PTTim Mrazek, a soft-spoken young husband and father from Regina, Saskatchewan, is a 32nd generation Shaolin warrior monk – a master of the martial art of kung fu. This hour-long documentary by filmmakers Leif Kaldor and R. Leslea Mair is the story of how an ordinary guy from the Canadian prairies became part of an ancient Zen Buddhist tradition – and of how that tradition itself is changing and evolving in the 21st century. The film follows Tim on a pilgrimage to the 1,500-year-old Shaolin Temple in China. There, as he delves deep into the world of Chinese kung fu, Tim discovers that his own search for a place in this tradition is deeply entwined in the larger question of what the future holds for the ancient brotherhood of warrior monks.
Documentary – A Year in Tibet: Three Husbands and a WeddingTuesday, July 6, 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT
Tibet is one of the most remote places in the world – and, under Communist Chinese rule, one of the least accessible. This BBC documentary offers a rare glimpse of everyday life in the medieval town of Gyantse, an isolated mountain community that is home to one of Tibet’s most important monasteries. The hour-long film records the preparations for the annual harvest, looks in on a celebration at the monastery, and follows the frenzied planning of a local wedding – an occasion that threatens to become less joyous when the bride learns there is more than one groom.
Documentary – Enigma: The Oracle Tuesday, July 6, 11 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. PTCan spirits enter this world by taking possession of a human body? For 13 generations, the Dalai Lamas have been advised by the State Oracle of Tibet, or Nechung, an ancient spirit that has inhabited a succession of 13 human mediums. To witness the eerie spectacle of a medium entering a trance state and being possessed by this spirit is to confront profound questions about human consciousness. In this documentary, Canadian filmmaker David Cherniack offers viewers a rare glimpse into the secret world of Tibetan oracles. The hour-long film features an interview with the Dalai Lama, as well as never-before-seen footage of his private consultation with the State Oracle.
** VISIONTV PREMIERE **Documentary – The Teacher Wednesday, July 7, 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PTRepeats at 1:30 a.m. ET / 10:30 p.m. PT
After fleeing his native Tibet, the 14th Dalai Lama settled in the northern Indian city of Dharamsala, which became home to the Tibetan government-in-exile. And there, for the last 50 years, he has spread his message of compassion around the world. This beautifully filmed half-hour production is a documentary portrait of the Dalai Lama, his teachings, and the Tibetan community of Dharamsala, now home to tens of thousands of his fellow exiles. A concise primer on the essential tenets of Buddhism, The Teacher features the Dalai Lama conversing on topics such as the nature of happiness, the value of prayer and the importance of caring for one’s enemies.
Documentary – The Blue Buddha Wednesday, July 7, 10:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. PTMore than a thousand years ago, the people of Tibet developed a comprehensive medical system, blending Buddhist spirituality with a remarkably sophisticated understanding of the human body, and encoded this knowledge in a series of elaborate paintings. This documentary traces the odyssey of Tibetan medicine from its distant roots to the present day, and chronicles the struggle to preserve this tradition through the tumult of the past century.
Documentary – The Path to ShaolinWednesday, July 7, 12:30 a.m. ET / 9:30 p.m. PTSee Tuesday, July 6 at 9 p.m. ET
Movie – Seven Years in TibetThursday, July 8, 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT
Brad Pitt is at his most bronzed and beautiful in this true story of Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountaineer who befriended the young Dalai Lama. In 1939, during an expedition to the Himalayas, Harrer and his team are captured by the British and spend the next five years in a POW camp. Escaping with fellow climber Peter Aufschnaiter (David Thewlis), Harrer makes his way to the sacred Tibetan city of Lhasa. Fascinated by this exotic stranger – one of the first Europeans ever to enter the city – the teenage Dalai Lama (Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk) asks Harrer to tutor him in the mysterious ways of the outside world. Jean-Jacques Annaud (The Name of the Rose) directed, from a script by Becky Johnston (The Prince of Tides). With B.D. Wong (Law & Order: SVU) and Mako. The Andean foothills of Argentina stand in for the Himalayas. John Williams composed the music.
** VISIONTV PREMIERE **Documentary – The Lost World of Tibet Friday, July 9, 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT
When the 14th Dalai Lama was born, Tibet was still a feudal society, largely untouched by the outside world. The lives of its people were dominated by the Buddhist faith and its elaborate rituals and celebrations. All of this would vanish under the Chinese occupation: monasteries were destroyed, scriptures burned and religious festivals banned. This stunning BBC documentary, presented by British historian Dan Cruickshank, draws upon rare colour footage from the British Film Institute to create a portrait of life in the remote Himalayan kingdom before it fell under Chinese rule. The hour-long film, which includes an interview with the Dalai Lama, offers a haunting look back at a culture and way of life that have long since been extinguished.
For more information on VisionTV’s comedy and drama programming, please visit http://www.visiontv.ca.