Trekking on Tradition

By Jennifer Rodes
45 min., 1993

This outstanding production explores the effects of mountain tourism (known as trekking) on a small village in rural Nepal. It examines the views of both the trekkers (Europeans and Americans) and the Nepalese as it weaves a complex patchwork of conflicting dreams, desires, aspirations and frustrations. It illuminates, often humorously, the controversies and ironic nature of cross-cultural encounters engendered by widespread tourism in developing countries. It also powerfully illustrates the dramatic impact of tourism on the traditional practices, culture, and environment of the region.

Tantra of Gyuto

By Sheldon Rechlin and Mark Elliot
52 minutes (VHS)

Tantra of Gyuto is an account of Tibetan Buddhist ceremonies by monks of the Gyuto Tantric College. Through ritual and mantric powers the Gyuto monks use a sound to effect a specific change in the individual and the environment around him. Dalai Lama has been filmed introducing the ceremonies. By their sheer inherent potency and concenetration these essential energies bring about direct spiritual phenomenon. It is only in this exceptional time of massive world changes that the Lamas have reversed their practice of secrecy and have allowed certain chants to be heard.

Spotlight on Ramayana

Media Type: Documentary VideoCurriculum Unit
Release Date: 1995
Audience: Elementary Education
Running Time: 57 min.

For use in conjunction with curriculum developed by Syracuse University
Edited by Hazel Sarah Greenberg. A window opens on the culture of India through this study of the 2500-year old Sanskrit epic of Prince Rama. This fascinating approach to Indian civilization through the Ramayana’s plot and characters (who are as appealing as cartoon superheroes but signify profound spiritual values) can be used as a comprehensive interdisciplinary curriculum or a source of individual lessons. 57 minute color video on the history and sociological significance of the Ramayana.”

The Vote

By Pankaj Rishi Kumar

Shivalinga Worship
Detailed documentation by the Kuppuswami Research Institute, Madras, of the ritual worship (puja) of a shivalinga according to the South Indian Shaivagamas. Duration: approximately 80 minutes.

Sons of Shiva

Directed and Produced by Robert Gardner & Akos Ostor
1985, 28 min.

Sons of Shiva documents a four-day ceremony of worship of the God Shiva. Devotees are shown from the initial taking of the Sacred thread through gradually intensifying action to a culmination in a variety of ascetic and self-denying practices. The film also depicts informal activities, such as preparing food, and listening to recitals of devotional songs by the famous mendicant Bauls of Bengal.

Pandemic: Facing AIDS

The series is the centerpiece of a multifaceted global campaign to raise awareness of the AIDS crisis, with major funding for the project provided by the AOL Time Warner Foundation. Pandemic: Facing AIDS follows five stories of people living with AIDS in countries around the world, revealing the heartaches and triumphs of coping with a stigma and effects of the devastating disease. Showing how AIDS tests people in unexpected ways, the series chronicles the minor miracles that occur in the face of doom. Treatment, prevention, education, mother-to-child transmission, the stigma of AIDS, and harm reduction are among the issues explored in the series, as well as the many obstacles and opportunities faced by the individuals in the film.

The five countries profiled in Pandemic: Facing AIDS represent a cross-section of cultures and attitudes regarding HIV/AIDS. In India, a truck driver and his pregnant wife, both HIV-positive, take every precaution to prevent HIV transmission to their baby. Pandemic: Facing AIDS is directed by Rory Kennedy; produced by Rory Kennedy and Liz Garbus; narrated by Elton John; original score by Philip Glass with additional music by Miriam Cutler; edited by Kate Amend; directors of photography, Nick Doob and Tom Hurwitz; written by Mark Bailey. For HBO: supervising producer, Nancy Abraham; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.

Loving Krishna

Directed by Allen Moore & Akos Ostor, Produced by Robert Gardner & Akos Ostor
1985, 40 min.

Loving Krishna looks at the sacred cult of Krishna in one of its local manifestations, and explores the continuing link between worship, arts and crafts, bazaar exchanges, and everyday life. Describing two major festivals—the celebration of Krishna’s birth, and the great Chariot Festival—Loving Krishna examines the central concepts of Hindu Worship: the ritual offerings to the gods, the role of images in worship, the divine play of the gods, and the meaning of devotion.

The Reincarnation of Khensur Rinpoche

(1991, 62 mins, VCR)
Produced and directed by Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam

Choenzey is a 47-year-old monk living in a Tibetan refugee monastery in South India. His spiritual master, Khensur Rinpoche, a revered high lama, has been dead for four years. According to Tibetan belief, he will soon be reincarnated. It is Choenzey’s responsibility, as his closest disciple, to find the reincarnation and to look after him. The film follows Choenzey’s search and his eventual discovery of an impish but gentle 4-year-old boy who is recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan State Oracle to be the reincarnation. Without sentimentality, the film captures the moving relationship that develops between the erstwhile disciple and his young master.

The Nehru – Gandhi Dynasty

(Recorded off Biography)
180 min.

Here is the fascinating and often tragic story of the Nehru and Gandhi families and their quest to lead India to peace and prosperity. On August 14, 1947, India won independence after 200 years of British rule due to the tireless work and sacrifice of three Hindu nationalists. Mahatma Gandhi was the spiritual leader; Jawaharial Nehru, son of Motilal Nehru was elected to political monarch. The next two generations of Nehrus, Indira and her two sons, continued the reign until 1991, when son Rajiv was assassinated by terrorists. This in-depth, insightful program chronicles the dynasty established by the Nehrus and their long lasting influence on one of the largest and most populous countries in the world.