The Lion's Roar
New direct-to-digital transfer from film
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The Classic Profile of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa
This is the masterful portrait of the late 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, the great Tibetan Buddhist master known as the Black Hat Lama. His line of successive reincarnations has its origins in the 13th century when it was the first to identify tulkus, reincarnations of Buddhist teachers. He is recognized as the embodiment of the teachings of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, one that traces its source through Tibets greatest teachers Milarepa and Marpa to Indias Naropa and Tilopa all the way back to the Shakyamuni Buddha himself.
Features rare footage of renowned Tibetan Buddhist lamas Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Kalu Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Filmed on location in Sikkim and North America, with archival footage from France
"...uncommon clarity . . . compelling, accessible . . . vivid and often haunting imagery." -- Hollywood Reporter
" a magnificent workdramatic, moving, richly colorful in both sound and sight" -- American Anthropologist
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Director Mark Elliot sketches in 50 minutes the bare outlines of Buddhism, 20th century Tibetan history, and the life of the 16th Karmapa. He includes footage from the mid-60's, when the 16th Karmapa's disciples, the ones that would play a central role in the dispute over the 17th reincarnation, were fresh faced children. There is also film of the 16th Karmapa's visit to the United States in 1974 and his 1982 funeral and cremation at his spiritual home, Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim. Unfortunately, there is no interview with the Karmapa himself and none of the footage includes the Karmapa's voice, except where he can be overheard talking to American children in a blessing procession.
The script does not question the assumptions, practices or institutions of Tibetan Buddhism, and claims of miracles and supernatural phenomenon are presented at face value, suggesting the film was produced by and for the faithful.
There's not much here to sink your teeth into. Even students of Tibetan Buddhism will find little of substance beyond the visuals.