For the love of film - Tibet

The Lost World of Tibet is another gem from the BFI Archive, a film series shot in Tibet in the 1940s, before the Chinese occupation. It includes some great footage of the Dalai Lama as a child and other scenes like traditional ceremonies, street life, children playing - showing a Tibet that is no more. 


This clip shows footage of the current Dalai Lama (then still a very young boy) and his family. It includes a procession of high-ranking men and women, followed by a procession with the Dalai Lama in a golden palanquin (his presence indicated by the peacock feather umbrella being carried alongside). The video ends with an adorable scene of children paying on a frozen lake in Lhasa.

This film was shot by Tsien-Lien Shen in the early 1940s (he was resident Chinese Commissioner in Lhasa from 1942-47) and it shows many of the ceremonial events that took place in Lhasa, including the New Year ceremonies and everyday life in Lhasa with monks, porters and market stall sellers. There is even some sort of a fashion show at the end - everyone is magnificiantly dressed  and looking very dignified.

This film was shot by Sir Basil Gould and records his visits to Lhasa. It includes an intriguing sequence of Tibetan women playing darts.



This post is part of the For the Love of Film Blogathon, hosted by Ferdy on Films and The Self-Styled Siren and sponsored by The National Film Preservation Foundation, an independent, nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America’s film heritage. They work directly with archives to rescue endangered films that will not survive without public support. Please donate.
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