This film maps a journey made by Geshe Gelek Jinpa, a Bönpo Geshe (Doctor of Religious Philosophy) researching the ancient Zhang Zhung Empire which once stretched across the Tibet-Qinghai Plateau. The documentary follows Geshe Gelek as he travels through Mustang, a remote area of the Himalaya, on his misson to undertake the first survey of the Bönpo peoples living there, as well as to record religious sites, both ancient and modern at the request of Bön Mahasangha of Nepal. During this trip he discovers many treasures of Bön such as ancient texts, statues, historical records, and joins Prof. Charles Ramble in the dramatic recovery and identification of a significatnt Bönpo library at Mardzong. Other highlights include establishing the exact locations of a historic Bönpo monastery, Bönkor, and the hermit cave of Zhang Zhung Nyengyud Dzogchen master Rong Thogme Zhigpo. The fillm also shows unique footage of the Dögyab ritual held in the village of Lubrak to dispel negativities.
With sensitive camerawork and editing by Kemi Tsewang, himself a native of Lubrak, and an informative commentary by Carol Ermakova and Dimitry Ermakov which adopts an 'insider's' perspective, this film offers a precious insight into the rich historical heritage and living tradition of Bön in the Nepal-Tibet borderlands.
Authors: Jinpa, Gelek; Tsewang, Kemi
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Triten Norbutse Monastery & Bon Buddhist Federation
Script: Carol Ermakova & Dmitry Ermakov
Narration: Carol Ermakova
Cinematography: Kemi Tsewang, Geshe Gelek Jinpa, Renan
Direction: Gelek Jinpa, Kemi Tsewang
Editor: Kemi Tsewang
Subtitles: Kemi Tsewang
Music by: Deuter, Kamal & Anuhama, Tenzin Lodoe, Evolution, VA, Shpongle, Native American flute