In Search of Zhang Zhung

In Search of Zhang Zhung

This is the first of two films featuring the Bön teacher Geshe Gelek Jinpa in which he tries to find the roots of his own tradition in Nepal and Tibet.

In this film he teams up with an American photographer and undertakes a pilgrimage to Mount Kailash, and then to the capital of the ancient kingdom of Zhang Zhung which covered much of Tibet, China and Nepal.

Unusually, the journey is narrated using two different voices: that of Geshe Gelek, who ponders on his tradition, its importance, and how it feels about the way it is being practised today is one, and the unnamed American photographer, apparently working with Oxford University is the other.

As they go along they have very different perspective on what is unfolding, and this makes for an interesting dialogue between the two, Gelek soul-searching his way along, and the photographer trying his best to hold the group together as it gradually, and for various reasons, falls apart.

What we are left with is a truly memorable work, both in terms of its content and its presentation, and we also get to feel the sadness Gelek has as he eyes the ruins of a once great civilisation that is on the brink of collapse.

 

 

to see a set of stills click on the screenshot below

 

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