Imagine a society where the enlightenment of the individual and the cultivation of compassion are the most important things in life. For more than 1500 years, while the rest of the world pursued progress through modernization and industrialization, Tibetan culture remained dedicated to those core Buddhist teachings. Then in 1949 China invaded the country, and Mao’s armies began a wholesale campaign of genocide and “culturecide.” His Holiness The Dalai Lama, the political and religious head of the country, along with thousands of other Tibetans, was forced to flee to asylum in India. John Bush’s enthralling and heartfelt documentary Vajra Sky Over Tibet explores the beauty and the vulnerability of the Buddhist tradition in Tibet today and its importance to the Western world. This is the third pilgrimage film by the director and cinematographer, after Dharma River about the Buddhist temples and mystical sites of Laos, Thailand, and Burma, and Prajna Earth about Buddhist and Hindu sites in Cambodia, Bali, and Java. Vajra is a Sanskrit term meaning the thunderbolt of awakening, and Tibetan Buddhism is known as the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition. Bush traveled to Tibet with a two-person crew and a Tibetan guide and driver. They went as pilgrims and didn’t ask permission of the Chinese authorities to film. The result is an extraordinary pilgrimage through the occupied country to the sacred sites still visited by Tibetans. The stunning images, filmed only in natural light, convey the richness and the depth of the Tibetan landscape, its art, architecture, and cultural variety. Bush conducted no interviews with Tibetans since they might have suffered reprisals for speaking out. Instead, the voice-over narration is by Tenzin L. Choegyal, an exile and the nephew of the Dalai Lama; the acclaimed Tibetan singer Dadon; and the director himself.
Go for more information to: Direct pictures – John Bush.