screenplay


title sequence
the arrest (1946)
roots (1903-27)
awakening (1928-34)
political landscapes (1934-38)
india: the shock of the modern (1938-46)
downfall (1946)
epilogue (1946-51/present)


1. title sequence (3 min)

images of gendun choephel; voice-over by an actor reading poems he wrote; previews of core images of tibet and india.

2. the arrest (1946) (10 min)

subject of voice-over/interviews
gendun choephel's arrest and imprisonment, mistreatment in prison and support by friends.

places
lhasa in archival footage of the 1940s; interviews in present-day settings.

3. roots (1903–27) (12 min)

subject of voice-over/interviews
gendun choephel growing up in a multicultural region and developing a strong sense of cultural identity; being sent to a monastery school, where he is simultaneously admired and accused of disrespect.

places (present day)
zhoepang (gendun choephel's birthplace), yama tashikhyil (village monastery), labrang (monastery town), journey from eastern tibet to lhasa.

4. awakening (1928–34) (10 min)

subject of voice-over/interviews
gendun choephel's good-humored yet misunderstood rebellious behavior at the drepung monastery; gendun choephel leaving the monastery and meeting the indian revolutionary rahulji.

places (present day)
contemporary lhasa, specifically the barkhor bazaar (old city), jokhang (main temple), drepung (largest monastery in tibet).

5. political landscapes (1934–38) (10 min)

subject of voice-over/interviews
gendun choephel traveling through tibet with rahulji and his compatriots searching for buddhist texts; gendun choephel and indians discussing politics and laughing at tibetan superstitions; gendun choephel decides to travel to india.

places (present day)
journey through southern tibet

6. india: the shock of the modern (1938–46) (20 min)

subject of voice-over/interviews
gendun choephel traveling through india, amazed by what he sees yet critical of the caste system and british colonial power; gendun choephel increasingly interested in politics and writing articles; gendun choephel sinking into a double world of libraries and bordellos in calcutta, translating the kamasutra; gendun choephel beginning to write the first political history of tibet.

places
varanasi (pilgrimage site on the ganges); calcutta; a fishing village on the indian east coast; bodhgaya (buddhist pilgrimage site).

7. downfall (1946) (10 min)

subject of voice-over/interviews
gendun choephel in kalimpong meeting dissident tibetans and designing their party emblem; gendun choephel returning to lhasa; his sudden arrest for "communist" activities

places (present day)
kalimpong (india), journey from india to lhasa.

8. epilogue (1946–51/present) (15 min)

subject of voice-over/interviews
gendun choephel in prison, cannot succeed in publishing THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF TIBET; gendun choephel after release falling into despair, giving himself over to alcohol; gendun choephel's death and final thoughts; reflections on gendun choephel's life in light of more recent events: the cultural revolution (1966-75), the opening up of tibet (1979/80), tiananmen square (1989), the revolts in lhasa (1989); reflections on gendun choephel's importance for present-day occupied tibet.

places (present day)
lhasa; the house in which he died; the monastery pabongka, where he was cremated; the jokhang (main temple), where he spent much of his time.


total length: 90 minutes

 

introduction

synopsis

objectives

visual presentation

structure

screenplay

background

crew

shooting pictures

newsletter

 

new delhi, india 1999

 
 

tibetan improvement party's emblem designed by gendun choephel

 
 

a stamp in honour of rahulji

 
 
         
 
             
   
2002 angry monk productions
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