Tulku Film Making Waves

By Pawan Sharma, Hindustan Times, December 21, 2004

Dharamshala, India - When Elinor Burke a young American girl came to Dharamsala as any other tourist, she didn't know she would end up making a film in one months time for the Tibetan refugee community.

The small-time film maker while touring this side of the Himalayas, the residence of the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, saw an image of a monk everywhere - on the street walls, shop windows, cars and motor bikes. Below it written "SENTENCED TO DIE".

As she went about asking more "but why is this monk sentenced to die?' She met Tsering Ngodup, a young man in his late twenties, who has been responsible for those ubiquitous image of the monk.

Thus started Elinor's journey to know about the Tibetan story and her film project. Tsering said "the film "Sentenced To Die" was recently released in Germany. In India it was released in Dharamsala few days back by Friends of Tibet (India) and Students for a Free Tibet."

Talking about the film tsering said, "The film traces the life story of a Tibetan monk and social activist Tenzin Delek from the people who knew him in Tibet and in India as he studied for five years in a buddhist monastery in Karnataka."

However much of this one hour documentary film talks about the controvery of death sentence. Few days back, it was reported that the monk sentenced to die on 2nd December, as feared by the Tibetans is still live.

This new lease of life gave the Tibetans some respite.

The film which is available in VCD is now being sold and duplicated in the exile community. Tenzin Choying the President of Students for a Free Tibet (India) says "we are selling CDs, but the main aim being spreading awareness about Tulku Rinpoche, I think duplication helps. It naturally gets to people without having to promote."