By 1973, when this film was made, nearly all the monasteries in Tibet had been closed and many destroyed. Most of the monastics had been returned to lay life and only some who had escaped over the Himalaya into India and Nepal were practising their religion in relative peace.
This film, which was made by Petere Montagnon for the the BBC in the early days of colour television, travelled to Nepal to look at the Tibetan Buddhists and their practice there, and in doing so provided an immensely valuable record for the years to come.
The film begins in Kathmandu, looking at the synchretic fusion of Hinduism and Buddhism in the temples and around the stupas; before moving on to the early days of the Kopan monastery north east of the capital, which was founded just four years before this film was made.
We also see interviews with Anne McNeil, a Canadian nun, and several young westerners who are attending the monthly meditation retreat, and hear about their experiences. The film looks at life in the monasteries, examines its philosophy, and very sympathetically explains monastic life and the Buddhist teachings.
The film is very old, the colours are washed out, and there are lines and bubbles through the print, but nevertheless it is a valuable record of times gone by.
if this video is no longer available please leave a comment so I can update the page
(the comment is not published)