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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Journey Into an Endangered World

October 15, 2009

October 14, 2009

Vajra Sky Over Tibet is a cinematic pilgrimage
bearing witness to the indomitable faith of
Tibet’s endangered Buddhist community and the
imminent threat to its very survival. With
unprecedented access to many legendary venues,
this is one of the rare documentaries to be filmed entirely inside of Tibet.

Against a backdrop of breathtaking Himalayan
terrain, the film journeys to some of the most
revered temples, monasteries and festivals still
surviving in Tibet today. Without permission of
the Chinese authorities, traveling
inconspicuously with a guide and driver, shooting
in existing light, director/ cinematographer John
Bush is also visiting the source of his own
spiritual practice. As a western Buddhist many
doors open to him and his camera as Tibetans want
the world to know that their exquisite traditions
are still alive but under serious threat.

The vastness of the Tibetan sky, reflecting snowy
mountains, rushing rivers, and turquoise lakes
leads the journey west. Visiting these esteemed
pilgrimage sites, one sees the universal truth
and beauty expressed through the extraordinary
art, architecture and customs of classical Tibet.
Responding to the denial of the basic human right
to practice one's religion without interference,
Tibetan pilgrims visit these legendary sites with
a defiant ardor and overt displays of devotion.

Vajra Sky Over Tibet reveals a deliberate policy
of Chinese authorities in the 21st century to
destroy this 1500 year old tradition from within
after five decades of attempting to destroy it
from the outside. One hears that photos of the
Dalai Lama are illegal everywhere in Tibet and
learns how the atheist leaders of China are
maneuvering to install their own reincarnated
Dalai Lama after the present spiritual leader passes away.

The empty palaces of the Dalai Lama -- the Potala
and Norbulinka echo the painful loss of the
Tibetan’s own living Buddha. During the Drepung
festival, a giant tapestry scroll of the Buddha
covers a mountain side as spiritually famished
Chinese join with the multitude of Tibetan
pilgrims. This closing scene invokes a redemptive
vision of renewal within the surviving Buddhist community of Tibet.

As interviews were not appropriate because of
possible reprisals, Vajra Sky Over Tibet employs
the narration voices of Tenzin L Choegyal, nephew
of The Dalai Lama, and the acclaimed singer
Dadon, who escaped over the Himalayas to India
while eight months pregnant, and filmmaker John Bush.

Vajra Sky’s evocative soundtrack features many of
Tibet's greatest musicians and legendary singers,
monastic chanting, and an original Harmonic Chant
score by film composer David Hykes.
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