Return to Zanskar, Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom

Return to Zanskar

This is an interesting short film about the return to Zanskar by two British explorers after 30 years, and on the verge of the country being opened up by a new road into the remote kingdom joining it to India.

Thirty years ago Bryan Liptzan and Brian Whittier visited this remote kingdom undergoing many hardships to get there, and also to get out again when they had finished.

They took many photographs at the time, and armed with print outs they returned last year to seek out the people they had met at the time. Surprisingly this wasn’t as hard as it may be imagined.

They returned however at the same time as a new road was being brought into the valley, and the film records not just the explorers meetings with old friends, but also the fears that many have about what the road will bring in its wake.

One of the most sacred places in Zanskar is Phuktal Monastery, where many great saints lived and practised, and this is also one of the main places they visit, and listen to the thoughts of some of the monks.

Previously I showed Ancient Futures, Learning from Ladakh which talks about the detrimental impact Western education has had on the ancient way of life in Ladakh, and the same fears arise here.

The world is ever subject to change of course, and this cannot be helped, but it seems the only model of education we have these days is one based on values that are foreign to Buddhist cultures, and that undermine the relevancy of the religion. It is something to be very worried about.

 

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to see a set of stills click on the screenshot below

 

1 comment to Return to Zanskar, Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom

  • Gentlemen: This film is so well done in so many ways. My wife and I have filmed extensively in Dolpo, Mustang, Tibet and other far away places, and see exactly the issues your film brings up: the “advance” of civilization. I am a judge in several film festivals and I have to say that this one reaches the peak of excellence in a simple, warm, welcoming way. Congratulations!
    I would like to be able to purchase a copy if that is possible.
    Thank you again for a wonderful experience.

    Ken O’Neil

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