A biography of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, who was one of the most respected and loved Tibetan teachers of his time. It includes historical footage of the Karmapa, his visits to America, and his funeral in Sikkim in 1981.
The second of these films follows Lama Pema Chodan and his 13 year old novice Thubten Tsering as they attend to the ceremonies following the death of a young family man in Ladakh.
This is the first of a sensitive two-part documentary showing how death and dying is contextualised in the traditional Buddhist culture in Ladakh.
This is a wonderful collection of colour and black and white film taken in Tibet during the last years of its independence, as it has been preserved by the British Film Institute.
This episode sees the expedition crossing the southern route of the Taklamakan desert, which in the Uighar language means the place from which no living thing returns.
The Dark Castle of the title refers to the fortress at Khara-khoto, which was a main center of the Tangut state. The Castle has legendary status amongst the local people, who fear to go there, but the crew find some guides and trek across the desert on camels.
This episode focuses on the magnificent Mo-gao caves at Dun-huang in the Gobi desert. In this complex, there are 500 caves and over 3,000 statues and murals. It is counted as the longest art gallery in the world.
This episode sees the expedition crossing first the Yellow River, with its goat-skin rafts and giant waterwheels, and entering the Gobi desert along the He-xi corridor, where it visits some of the main citadels along the route.