Not great. Not bad, just not great.
Sean Pfister | North Beach, San Francisco | 05/27/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you know nothing about Tibet, the brutal occupation of that country by the Chinese, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, then this is a good video. If you're a Buddhist, a student of Buddhism, or more conversant with the topics above, then it might not be for you. The documentary is an A&E production, so it tends to be, IMHO, a bit shallow and inaccurate at times. The Dalai Lama is not the "king" of Tibet nor does he preside over Tibetan Buddhism in the same manner that, say, the Pope does over Roman Catholics. There is some nice footage of His Holiness as a young man, including clips from his first years as a refugee in India. A few interviews with Richard Gere, Robert Thurman, Orville Schell and others round out the footage along with a few conversations with Dalai Lama. It is always a pleasure, however, to see the Dalai Lama so I did enjoy it in spite of the critiques above. It is not what I would consider an in-depth portrait but more like a good line drawing."
The 14th Dalai Lama as political leader
Kim Boykin | New York, NY | 02/13/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 45-minute program from A&E's "Biography" series is a good introduction to the Dalai Lama's life and leadership of Tibet and to the political situation of Tibet. It incorporates interesting historical footage, including footage I hadn't seen elsewhere of the Dalai Lama as a child and young man.
Naturally, the film sides with the Tibetans regarding the Chinese occupation of Tibet, but it does attempt to be objective. Something I learned from this film is that the Dalai Lama was initially sympathetic to some of Mao's stated goals.
Two other good videos on the Dalai Lama and Tibet are "Heart of Tibet" (available only on VHS, not DVD) and "Compassion In Exile," both of which do a better job than this video of giving a sense of the Dalai Lama as a Buddhist and as a person."