visual presentation

the cinematic form is characterized by an interplay between movement and rest, distance and proximity. formally, these levels will be distinguished by camera work, shot composition and montage. on the spatial axis, departure and travel alternate rhythmically with staying put and being immersed in everyday life. the scenes of travel are quiet and in long shot, using tranquil montage and shot composition to open up a space for reflection. once we arrive at a destination, however, we dive into the everyday situation and observe people at work and play.

on the temporal axis, the film contrasts the images of the present with archival pictures from the past — among them gendun choephel’s own sketches, pictorial scrolls and hand-written notes, as well as images of the social and political climate in which he lived. in this juxtaposition of past with present, of archival images with personal footage, a visual "dialogue" is hold with choephel.

the link between past and present is to be found in "broken" images which contain the multi-layered aspects and contradictions of everyday life; the bustling present, for instance, jars against an ancient building or rituals of the past, while in a karaoke bar in lhasa pilgrims in traditional clothing dance under a strobe light together with modern tibetans, chinese and western tourists.

just as gendun choephel lived in two contrasting worlds, moving from a sleepy village in east tibet to the colonial indian metropolis of calcutta, so the contrast of past with present is used to question the idealized image of timeless tibet and reinvent it as a nation of people involved in the making of their own history.





visual presentation





shooting pictures



caravan | eastern tibet 1928


truck on the road to lhasa | eastern tibet 1999


potala palace | lhasa 1999

2002 angry monk productions
grüngasse 6 | 8004 zurich | switzerland