Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009

Dalai Lama: Unwinking Gaze

By David Luhrssen
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The situation in Tibet remains grave. China continues to occupy the roof of the world and is settling large numbers of Chinese in the mountainous land, threatening to displace the native Tibetans. Meanwhile, many young Tibetans have grown impatient with their spiritual leader. The Dalai Lama, one of the world’s most respected religious figures, urges patience, counsels compassion and continues to send delegations to Beijing. More militant Tibetans demand action, not talk.

The Unwinking Gaze (out now on DVD) is a candid look at the Dalai Lama and his government-in-exile in the hill country of northern India. The documentary by Joshua Dugdale follows its subject for three years, including jaunts to Ottawa, London and Washington, and meetings with world leaders, rock stars and academics. TheUnwinking Gaze reveals a man who laughs often, especially at himself, and blends political savvy with monastic detachment.

As a religious leader, the Dalai Lama believes that people cause their own problems and are capable of working toward their solutions. The problem of Tibet can be resolved. Whether it will be remains a question only China’s leaders can answer.

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