BoingBoing: Tibet: trilogy of silent films from the 1940s, with a young Dalai Lama.

(Source: Boing Boing)

From the BFI National Film archive, via YouTube:

“Tibetan Scenes was made by Tsien-Lien Shen in the early 1940s – he was resident Chinese Commissioner in Lhasa from 1942-47. The colour film records many of the ceremonial events that took place in Lhasa, including the New Year ceremonies, and Shen himself appears in the film. There is also evidence of the presence of the Chinese in Lhasa.Although the majority of the film focuses on Tibetan ceremonies, there are some invaluable scenes capturing everyday life in Lhasa, as monks, porters, market stall sellers and the occasional yak compete for space.”

Another related film from the same archive:

“This film was shot by Sir Basil Gould who succeeded Derek Williamson as Political Officer of Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet in 1935. His films record two visits to Lhasa. The first, Lhasa (1936), shows his Diplomatic Mission to the Tibetan capital. His cameraman Frederick Spencer Chapman was commissioned by the BFI in 1937 to write an article for Sight and Sound magazine describing that visit (“Tibetan Horizon”). The film features an intriguing sequence of Tibetan women playing darts.

And more:

These extraordinary scenes were filmed in Tibet in the 1940s and include shots of the current Dalai Lama (then still a very young boy) and his family. The opening scenes show the Dalai Lama’s parents and siblings, and a procession of high-ranking men and women. This is followed by a clip of a procession with the Dalai Lama in a golden palanquin, his presence indicated by the peacock feather umbrella being carried alongside. The final scenes, in contrast, show ordinary children dancing and ice-skating in Lhasa.”

(Thanks, Clayton Cubitt)
{and thank you Xeni Jardin}

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