Following on from last week’s film about the Bamiyan Statues, the photo-journalist David Adams goes in search of Shangri-la in Pakistan’s northern hill countries.
Following, somewhat tenuously, the hints given in James Hilton’s Lost Horizon he travels through Peshwar, the Swat Valley and up to Hunza in the far north, all of which used to be great Buddhist centres of learning.
He does come across Buddhist ruins, as the countryside is scattered with them, and old Buddha Statues are now used as target practice, but as in the last film, the focus is very much on the people he meets along the way.
They include surviving ethnic Europeans from Alexander’s army, spirit-worshipping Muslims, and people who used to cater to the tourists until they all left and failed to return.
Meanwhile David sees some of the greatest scenery on earth, learns a little history and culture and has an enjoyable adventure before finally deciding that Shangri-la is a peaceful heart.
As was last week’s the film was produced as part of the Journeys to the Ends of the Earth series for the Discovery Channel in 1999.