In the spirit: Local screening of Darvich’s films about the Dalai Lama

WHAT: The North Carolina premiere screening of two films by director Khashyar Darvich: Dalai Lama Awakening and Compassion in Action. Both were edited from over 500 hours of footage shot between 2000 and 2013. The event will also include a Q&A with the director. Tickets ($10) available at Urban Dharma, 29 Page Ave.

WHERE: Masonic Temple, 80 Broadway

WHEN: Friday, Nov. 14. Awakening (2 screenings): 2 and 7 p.m.; Compassion: 5 p.m.

In 2000, director Khashyar Darvich was invited to film a special rendezvous between 40 innovative academics, scientists and the Dalai Lama. The project spanned over six years and included three “sit-ins” that were first documented by Darvich in his 2007 film, Dalai Lama Renaissance. After releasing and screening Renaissance, Darvich felt there was something that he had failed to capture.

“Always in the back of my mind and heart, I felt that [Renaissance] wasn’t fully the authentic story that was meant to be told,” he says. So in 2011 and 2013, Darvich and his team returned to India to get an extra 400 hours of footage. “When we went back, we got some real cinematic shots of monks, animals, mountains, street life and other aspects of Indian culture, so we could have [Awakening] be as full of a cinematic experience as possible to the audience.”

“This new film is a true poetic revision” says Darvich, “And it’s really about a journey from the ego into the heart. Some of the characters in Awakening start out with their egos sort of out there, and they push buttons and there’s actually conflict that happens, but at the end they experience a heart awakening and a more clear sense that in order to change the world, they must first change themselves.

“I want to try everything I can to have these films transform the audiences in some way — [so] that when people leave the room after having watched the film, they’re — even slightly — different than when they walked into the room. Then I feel like I’ve done my job,” he says


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About Jordan Foltz
Exploring the subtle and esoteric aspects of what drives and inspires people to take action— including religion, spirituality, ethics, and aesthetics.

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9 thoughts on “In the spirit: Local screening of Darvich’s films about the Dalai Lama

  1. Dear Jordan,
    I wish that life in Dharamasala was the idyllic place these films look like they’re going to portray it as. Sadly, I have seen much evidence to suggest otherwise. The Dalai Lama has made a religious ban which has caused massive divisions within the Tibetan communities, even to the point of people putting signs on shops saying certain members of the Tibetan community may not enter. This is just one example of a whole range of travesties which the Dalai Lama could stop in one moment by lifting this ban which is a violation of human rights and religious freedoms. More info
    I urge you to look into this. I know it’s not nice to hear but the suffering he has caused because of this is horrible. I no lager wish to see the myth of the ‘lovely’ Dalai Lama perpetuated.

    • Tenzin

      @Kelsang Drima- Please stop lying. You guys are allowed to practice your religion and even protest against him. I am very ashamed of people like you, going around and spreading false accusations of the Dalai Lama. He had simply advised not to practice Shugden because he was once and follower and realized how damaging it was to society. His advice was taken out of context and followers like you are shamelessly fabricating lies that are impossible. His Holiness has put so much effort for world peace that it breaks me whenever there are people like you, creating something very wrongly statements. His Holiness has sacrificed so much for the Tibetan people as he left at a young age from his family to serve his country. Until today, he is still consistenly doing so. I am very grateful of him and please, stop these accusations. His Holiness even gave a speech recently when he visited New York, stating that Shugden followers are not banned and oppressed. I wish you well because we are both human beings and may you be free and at peace.
      Please read this article:

    • Gyaltsen

      Kelsang Gyatso is responsible for your unhappiness!why don’t you protest against him instead!

    • James Dougherty

      This film is not about the Shugden “cult”, as Tibetan scholar Robert Thurman calls them,. This group is financed by the Chinese government. I have heard the Dalai Lama in person explain the truth about this “controversy” and show nothing but compassion for this group. Darvich’s film is about out how wisdom and love can awaken us all and that is true transformation!

    • Kunzang

      Wow, look at their media army ready to jump whenever His Holiness name appears. Public should learn how to fight off unwanted attention seekers.

  2. Gyaltsen

    The fact is that these guys who protest against HH the Dalai Lama are acting on the behests of Chinese government.
    So what else can you expect from them!

  3. Lhawang


  4. Jordan Foltz

    I appreciate the discussion that this article has facilitated, and thank you all for expressing your views and convictions. I have not until now, been made aware of the issue regarding the Shugden Community and the Dalai Lama—but it certainly is apparent that this issue is important to all who have commented here—and I’m sure countless others. In reference to Kelsang’s comment: It’s important to point out that many places in the world can get presented through a rose colored lens, and sometimes tend to be presented as such if people have approached such places with the intention of discovering beauty. Perhaps India and Tibet tend to be presented in western communities in this way. Equally, however, it’s important to remember that many places can be and are presented in the opposite manner—from a point of view that seeks to highlight and illustrate conflict, danger, or distopia. It’s up to us as participants and artists to illustrate the world according to our own convictions and what we feel is important, and we need everybody to be in the game participating to have a complete picture of the issues at stake. Thank you for bringing another issue that readers of this thread can look into. My impression, from having spoken with Darvich, is that his goal with this film is to illustrate some inspiring potentials that we all have when it comes to personal transformation and how he has seen the Dalai Lama contribute to such transformations.

  5. Lhakpa

    Let me give you some truth regarding western Shugden community. This community is very dangerous cult and its Westboro Baptist Church of tibetan Buddhist always protesting against Dalai Lama .i can also call this cult as hate group in disguise of monk and nun robes with full of bitterness ,anger,rage and hatred ..its nothing more than demonic worship.if you don’t believe google the deity pic they worship ? So you can judge them if they are Buddhas follower or Devil Worshiper.

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