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Dreaming of Tibet

In isolated communities around the world, particularly in India, Nepal and the United States, Tibetan exiles have created a 'virtual Tibet,' where they have endured and even flourished in the face of overwhelming adversity. DREAMING OF TIBET follows their arduous journeys from Tibet into exile over a 19,000 foot Himalayan pass. It's a flight that the Dalal Lama took in 1958 and over 150,000 of his followers have taken since then. Most have only minimal clothing and meager provisions to make the life-threatening trek. Many die along the way.

This intimate documentary is about the resilience of the human spirit under the most dire circumstances. The film looks at the lives of three extraordinary Tibetan exiles who have survived in exile and are deeply involved in working for the survival of their culture. They are, in short, Ms. Tseten Phanucharas, a political activist, who is one of the Dalai Lama's press coordinators in Los Angeles; Ms. Tsering Lhamo, a nurse working with recent refugees in Kathmandu, Nepal; and Mr. Ngawang Ugyen, a monk in the Mt. Everest foothills.

DREAMING OF TIBET captures the difficult challenges they each face and conveys the sense of hope they bring to their day-to-day lives in spite of great hardship and loss.

Also features His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and author/climber Jon Krakauer, with appearances by actors Richard Gere and Goldie Hawn.

'A story of the resilience of the human spirit -- in this case a collective spirit that exemplifies the Buddhist ideal of universal love and compassion.' Honolulu Advertiser

'A beautiful, poignant film that will speak to viewers on many levels.' Ka Leo O Hawai'i

'Beatifully photographed, lyrical film.' Marin Independent Journal

'An intimate portrait.' San Francisco Chronicle

'Parrinello's touching portrait of these Tibetans pleads with us to never forget.' Oakland Tribune

'Dreaming of Tibet is recommended for any secondary school or adult audience that has never seen realistic examples of Tibetan culture and the stresses encountered by refugees.' Charles Greenberg, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, Yale University, Electronic Media Reviews Online

'Engaging...lovingly presented...An important addition to collections.' School Library Journal

'Dreaming of a strong piece of advocacy for Tibetan sovereignty. Recommended.' Video Librarian


Main credits

Parrinello, Will (film producer)
Parrinello, Will (film director)
Parrinello, Will (editor of moving image work)
Antonelli, John (film producer)
Antonelli, John (screenwriter)
Coyote, Peter (narrator)

Other credits

Director of photography, Anthony Black.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Asian Studies
Human Rights
International Studies
Migration and Refugees
Multicultural Studies
Social Justice


Tibetan exiles, India, Nepal, Dalai Lama, Himalayas, human spirit, cultural survival, Tseten Phanucharas, Tsering Lhamo, Kathmandu, Ngawang Ugyen, Mt. Everest, Jon Krakauer, Richard Gere, Goldie Hawn; "Dreaming of Tibet"; Bullfrog Films