Tibet: A Buddhist Trilogy | Chicago Reader

Tibet: A Buddhist Trilogy

Graham Coleman's frequently fascinating 2005 documentary on Tibetan Buddhism as practiced in exile, based on his four-hour 1979 version, includes debating monks, a speech by the Dalai Lama, meditative rituals, the making and wiping away of a sand mandala, and a funeral. It captures some of the Tibetans' gentle mood but misses more profound things: meditating faces hardly convey “luminous” deities, and animations of Tibetan art and glowing orbs don't help. It also excludes anything that might make the religion seem less than perfect to Westerners, such as information on the status of women. Still, the music and chanting is wonderful. In English and subtitled Tibetan. 134 min.

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