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70 min | 2019 | Tibetan, English
Directed by Malati Rao
Produced by Public Service Broadcasting Trust
For the Buddha, establishing a community of nuns was a radical experiment for its time. Over the centuries Buddhist religious life was available to women and many historical events mention highly accomplished nuns. But the highest monastic qualifications were denied to them.
His Holiness The Dalai Lama worked for decades along with the nuns in Tibetan Buddhism to empower and enable them to finally receive the same education and degree as the monks. In achieving this the nuns impact the potential of women across all faiths and foreground the wisdom and uniqueness of the feminine experience. The film traces the journey of an exceptional nun, Namdol Phuntsok, the first woman ever to be awarded the highest degree in Tibetan philosophy – the Geshema degree which stands for the ‘knower of virtue’.
In collaboration with Vikalp Bengaluru
Malati Rao has been making documentaries for the last decade, several of which have been broadcast on public television. Handmade in India, on India’s craft traditions and Born Behind Bars, about children growing up in prison, have been applauded and screened at several film festivals. Malati holds an MFA degree in Film and Media Arts from Temple University, USA, and an MA in Mass Communication from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi.
Sandhya Kumar has been making films since 2007. She is a film graduate of San Francisco Art Institute and Jamia Millia University, New Delhi. Her 2012 documentary, ‘O Friend, This Waiting!’ won the Indian National Film Award for Best Arts/Cultural Film, for its unconventional exploration of the Devadasi tradition in South India through the medium of love-poetry. She has received film grants from the India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) and the Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT) and has been an ATSA fellow at ARThink South Asia. Sandhya is a trustee of Vikalp Bengaluru, a filmmakers’ collective committed to creating platforms for documentary films to reach wider audiences.