Monday, August 04, 2008

New video released: TBMSG in India

Recurring Dream’ is the third in a five-part series of films by Suryaprabha, a Order Member who's also a veteran film-maker and chronicler of the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO) and its Indian counterpart the Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha (TBMSG). He’s best–known for the much-loved four-part series on the FWBO’s history: this just-released film is part III of his latest and current project ‘Earth Rising, Heaven Descending’.

The five-part series of films is subtitled “on a search for a spiritually meaningful way of life” and in each film Suryaprabha captures the conversations, images, dreams, reflections, laughter, contradictions and craziness in the people that make up the FWBO/TBMSG Sangha in one or another part of the world. Part I set the scene, part II looked at America.

Part III, Recurring Dream takes him to India, and it’s great! If you’ve never been to India, it’ll take you there; if you have, it’ll take you right back there...

India is full of unlikely spectacles, and Recurring Dreams is full of them. Where else would a brass band accompany someone as they walked down the road to deliver a talk? Where else would you find a stadium full of people ritually dissolving the five elements in their bodies to leave only space? And where else could you see the grainy 50-year-old footage of Dr. Ambedkar as he led 300,000 of his followers away from Hinduism and to a new life as Buddhists?

In its 65 minutes Suryaprabha manages to pack in a great deal of serious and often very intimate content– we witness the hopes and aspirations of young orphans growing up in TBMSG hostels; the frank admissions of women living in a Buddhist community as they discuss between themselves their plans up until marriage (and beyond!); the rousing exhortations of Subhuti as he urges his listeners to initiate a “peaceful revolution”. We glimpse the appalling caste violence that mar the lives of many Dalits in India today, and end with the spectacular extravagance of an inter-caste wedding.

'Recurring Dream' is available from Suryaprabha’s company ‘Lights in the Sky’, the price being £15 for personal viewing and £44 for public showing. Highly recommended.

Click to watch a slideshow of the movie or to visit the Lights in the Sky website.

Contact details:
‘Lights in the Sky’, 72 Holloway Road, London N7 8JG
t: (020) 7607 9480

Review written by Lokabandhu.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

lights in sky website link dead. where should be?


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