Jaynes Your Way

Here are my thoughts about films, life, and what not. If you don't like them I'll give your money back.

#3 10 Questions for the Dali Lama

14 July, 2008

10 questions for the Dalai Lama (2006)

Rick Ray narrates, directs, edits and takes up most of the screen time in the 2006 documentary “10 questions for the Dali Lama.” Normally the producer of the shows, Mr Ray is given the opportunity to interview the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, but the catch is he is only granted 10 questions. I can’t imagine sitting down in front of such an intellectual and spiritual man and only being allowed to ask 10 questions. Rick Hill is no fool and weaves the 10 questions in and out of a pseudo-presentation of the history of the Buddhist Culture.

I have nothing but respect for the Dalai Lama. I’ve read some of his books, but I had never understood the amount of destruction China has brought on the Buddhist culture. It really is cultural genocide. A simple digital camera captures the aftermath of the ongoing “invasion.”

China will be putting on its best efforts to control the impending demonstrations that will plague the upcoming Olympics in Beijing. China’s ability to change history to their versions seems like the plot Orwell’s 1984. China even censored Google! Google!

I believe we can learn a lot from the Dalai Lama’s patience and forgiveness with a country that has killed over a million of his countrymen and destroyed their history. Hill makes it very clear that no one has come to the rescue of Tibet because there are no economic interests to, but everyone wants to be in business with China.

The images of the exiled and impoverished people are shot beautifully, and speak louder than Mr. Ray’s monotonous reading of his own, at times, poignant thoughts of the journey. Mr. Ray’s motivation is in the right place, but he is simply a boring narrator. I can’t think of a better job for Morgan Freeman. Even Richard Gere!

The real star of the movie is Tinzin Gyatzo’s personality. He always has a huge smile on his face, and is easy to crack his charming laugh. The documentary show several of the Dalai Lama’s appearances around the world, and everywhere he goes he is genuinely interested in the people he meets. I really appreciate documentaries that get those behind-the-scenes looks at a person’s life AND don’t reveal huge dark secrets. The peering into His Holiness’s private life only makes him more human. He was 15 when China invaded Tibet and he and his family were forced to flee into exile. I was worried about a car at 15, while he was worried about the future of his family and nation. I can’t even imagine the burden he had to deal with.

I would like to say, “run out and watch this film,” but it’s not the film I want you to see. It’s the focus of the film, the Dalai Lama. If anything just read up on the situation. This film is the “end” of Ray’s journey, but it should really be the beginning of all of ours.



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