The final film of the Yatra Trilogy produced by Direct Pictures, Vajra Sky Over Tibet follows filmmaker John Bush’s journey to central Tibet – a “cinematic pilgrimage” that aims to show the oppressed, but spiritually solid, lives of Buddhists remaining in Tibet. Unlike other documentaries, Vajra contains no in-depth interviews, no lectures from celebrated, scholarly experts; Bush chose not to include these traditional features because of possible political and governmental repercussions.
Instead, the viewer is given the chance to experience Tibet as a quiet observer, a privileged insider. Bush gives a unique glimpse into a world most Westerns know little of, bringing the viewer along to the traditional festivals, nearly abandoned monastaries, and humble homes of the local people.
Many documentaries have followed the lives of the exiled Buddhist monks that escaped to India or Nepal, but Vajra is one of the few to be filmed wholly in Tibet. It celebrates the survival of the Buddhist way of life under the oppressive rule of the Chinese government, while showing how tenuous their religious freedom remains. More of an experience than a formal history lesson,Vajra brings its viewers a deeper understanding of a culture threatened by extinction, still struggling to stay strong.
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