This is a very moving film about the Lamas who escaped from Tibet during the 1959 invasion by the Chinese army. Many of them came through Bhutan and were eventually first settled at an old British prisoner camp at Buxa, on the border with India.
The film consists largely of interviews with some of the older Lamas who had to overcome great hardship in order to maintain their religion and traditions in a new country. It includes archival footage and photographs from the various places they were housed.
Even after the first 10 years when they moved out of Buxa things didn’t get any easier, and the lamas often had to work in the fields to support themselves, and for some time put aside their religious life just to survive, as refugees with decreasing hope of ever returning home.
What comes across for me is just how much faith, courage and determination these monastics had as they struggled with everything they had to be able to pass the Dharma on to the coming generations. I think this is something that must have played out many times in history, but here it is captured on film for perhaps the first time.
We also see the modern day fruits of their grit with a new generation of happy, and carefree monastics training in well built and prosperous surroundings, as the community has flourished in their new home. The difficulties of the past now only remain in the memories of those who had to survive it all.
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