The Lost World of Tibet: A Different View

The Lost World of Tibet: A Different View (61:00)
Item# 39368

Through vintage amateur movies as well as archival Communist propaganda documentaries, this program turns back the clock to see what Tibet was like from the 1930s to 1950. Every ounce of information is wrung from these exclusive film segments as historic primary source footage of Tibetans, British and Chinese officers, and the young Dalai Lama himself recalls a world lost to memory since the Chinese Communist invasion and occupation. Camerawork by Sir Basil Gould, a British intelligence officer of the Raj; James Guthrie, a Scottish doctor who treated the Dalai Lama’s regent and Tibetan nomads; Mr. Shen, a Chinese official; and China’s ETV vividly captures a previously seldom seen era of Tibetan history. A BBCW Production. (60 minutes)

Copyright © 2023, Films Media Group, All Rights Reserved

Segments in this Video - (16)

1. Tibet: Religious State (03:54)
 Available for Free Preview

The Dalai Lama escaped to India in 1959. In the 20th century, Tibetan lived a 16th-century lifestyle. Originally nomadic, the Tibetan society became feudal and deeply religious. Buddhism has had a profound effect on Tibetans.

2. Dalai Lama: God-King (04:48)

The Chinese invasion of Tibet altered its culture, though Tibet is still deeply religious and Buddhism central to its way of life. Buddhists belief in rebirth and reincarnation. The Dalai Lama is the reincarnation of all previous Dalai Lamas.

3. Religious Festivals and Elite Families of Tibet (01:53)

The balance of power between the government and the religious elite was maintained through religious ceremonies.

4. Traditional Marriage and Divorce Customs in Tibet (03:00)

Archival film footage shows the elaborate outfits worn by elite Tibetan women. Marriage among close relatives preserved the families. A Tibetan woman of an elite family discusses marriage and divorce customs in Tibet.

5. Young Dalai Lama: God-King (03:16)

The five-year-old Dalai Lama receives international visitors who brought lavish gifts to him. Many thousands of pilgrims made their way to be blessed by the young god-king. The Dali Lama's sister-in-law talks about the family.

6. Potala Palace: Enshrinement of Dalai Lama (05:16)

On February 22, 1940, the 14th Dalai Lama is enshrined in the Potala. Thirteen stories of buildings containing over 1,000 rooms, it covers the Red Hill of Lhasa. It was the winter quarters of the Dalai Lama and the seat of government.

7. Tibetan Buddhism (04:46)

Tibetan Buddhism differs from other types. Tibetans believe that their prayers are given added power by the use of prayer wheels. British and Chinese were equally represented in Tibet, though Chinese nationalists saw Tibet as part of China.

8. Tibetan Festivals (03:41)

Archival film footage shows the elaborate costumes of religious festival participants. Sky dancers, and ceremonial representations of battles in the "coiling snake" dance mark these festivals that attracted nearly all residents of Lhasa.

9. Summer Festivals in Lhasa (04:55)

In the Dalai Lama's youth, summer festivals in Lhasa attracted people from both Tibet and China. These festivals ranged from picnics with music to an opera festival. Archival film footage and the Dalai Lama's narration help film viewers experience the festivals.

10. China's Civil War and Fate of Tibet (03:37)

A communistic victory in China would be troublesome for Tibetan Buddhists. In 1949, the People's Republic of China brings Tibet back into the motherland in 1951. Archival film footage records the events.

11. Dalai Lama and Mao Zedong (03:47)

In 1954, the Dalai Lama departs for Beijing, promising his people he will return. Mao Zedong informs the Dalai Lama "religion is poison." Back in Tibet, the Dali Lama must take his final monastic exams in the form of public debates.

12. Dalai Lama's First Public Exams (03:39)

Eight thousand monks watch the young Dalai Lama take his first exams. Twenty thousand peasants support the monks and the festivals. Archival film footage shows the public debates in which the Dalai Lama performs in a superior manner.

13. Tibet: Tensions Between Chinese and Tibetans (04:23)

In the second set of exams, the Dalai Lama publicly debates another set of abbots. At the same time, trouble at Lhasa concerns many in his retinue. Tension among the Chinese and Tibetans grows. Tens of thousand of refugees camp near Lhasa.

14. Chinese Plot: Dalai Lama in Danger (02:27)

The Dalai Lama leaves Lhasa at the invitation of the Chinese, but also because he believes his actions may save his people. The Dali Lama explains what his feelings were during those tense and dangerous times.

15. Dali Lama Escapes from Tibet (02:13)

After two weeks, the Dalai Lama reaches northern India. Within days, the Chinese bomb the three most significant palaces in Tibet. The Chinese systematically set about to destroy Tibet's Buddhist culture.

16. Political Asylum for Dalai Lama (02:46)

India grants political asylum to the Dalai Lama, and he has remained in Dharamsala , or "Little Lhasa," since that time. Despite U.N. resolutions to sanction the Chinese, the international community does not come to Tibet's aid.

Powered by Films On Demand