FILM REVIEW
THE SACRED SITES OF THE DALAI LAMAS
By Jill Mangino

 

 

This visually stunning documentary follows the personal spiritual quest of Steve Dancz (composer for National Geographic TV who also narrates and composed the film¹s score), led by translator Glenn Mullin (Tibetologist and author of over 30 books on Buddhism), and Khenpo Tashi (a Bhutanese monk) on a pilgrimage to many of Tibet's most holy sites culminating in a trek over 17,000 feet in altitude to the hard-to-reach mystical Oracle Lake where every Dalai Lama has had prophetic visions.

With deep reverence for the land and its people, Mullin who has been leading pilgrimages to Tibet for over a decade, intimately shares the history and spiritual legacy of the Dalai Lamas lineage starting the Potala, the historical home of the Dalai Lamas. According to Mullin "These sites inspire a profound sense of spiritual awe: enlightenment energy is embodied in these power places."

Despite on-going conflicts in the region the film reflects the warmth, joy and spirit of its people steeped in Buddhist traditions. With hardships including altitude sickness, lost guides, makeshift sleeping accommodations and harsh weather; Dancz, Mullin, Tashi and crew travelled under the radar with a skeleton crew to access these sacred sites, most now inaccessible to the public; many of these sites are under Chinese occupation and filming had to remain covert with a hand-held DV camera.

The first showing was for the 14th Dalai Lama, who requested a DVD of the film. "We presume he wanted to see his  homeland again", says filmmaker Michael Wiese.

The DVD is available through Amazon.com or at www.mwp


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