Dallas, Texas (USA) -- "If you had only one hour, what would you ask?" is not only the byline of Rick Ray's latest documentary on the Dalai Lama but also the difficult question he faced for three months as he prepared for an interview with His Holiness.
"10 Questions for the Dalai Lama" offers a lifetime's worth of insight and information in just 85 minutes. The film is beautifully made, weaving together elements which appeal to every emotion. Images of the Tibetan countryside and its people serve as segues of serenity between thorough accounts of history, Buddhist monastery life and the 14th Dalai Lama.
Ray does an undeniably fantastic job of showing His Holiness in a genuine light. Little effort is made to convince the audience of his character, and we are left to absorb the smiles, laughter and wisdom he exudes. As the movie shifts gears toward the interview portion, it seems that the questions and answers become irrelevant, and the most important thing to take away is a new attitude. Ray even says one of two life-changing things he was told by His Holiness was, "Always turn out the lights - it's good for the planet."
Austin is one of only four places throughout the country where this film has been released, and it is right in our backyard at the Dobie Theatre. The Dalai Lama says, "If you tell the truth, you will lead a happy life." Selfishly, then, I will tell you that it is well worth going to see this movie for a rare glimpse into a man and nation so often surrounded by mystery.