Modern Tibetan Studies Event
“Pema Tseden: Celebrating a Tibetan Voice – ‘The Silent Holy Stones'”
Saturday, January 27, 2018
4:00 PM – 5:45 PM
Asia Society and Museum, 725 Park Avenue, New York, NY
For tickets, please click here.
A 10-year-old Buddhist novice nicknamed “Little Lama” returns home from the remote Guwa monastery for the New Year celebration. After a long journey on horseback over icy steppes, he finds himself glued to his family’s new TV, watching the popular Chinese television series Journey to the West. Meanwhile, the villagers are rehearsing their annual staging of a traditional Tibetan opera for the New Year. The juxtaposition shows a young monk who finds himself magnetically drawn to the secular world, which calls to him through the TV. The Silent Holy Stones has the immediacy of a documentary, delivering a compelling and intimate insider’s look of everyday life in Tseden’s home town, where traditional life rubs up against modernity and globalization.
The character Little Lama in The Silent Holy Stones was played by a real monk, Luosang Danpai, who later de-robed, got married, and is now living a layperson’s life.
Written and directed by Pema Tseden, the film is entirely in Tibetan language with nonprofessional Tibetan actors. The film won the Best Directorial Debut at the 25th Golden Rooster Awards in China and is an official selection of the Pusan International Film Festival, the International Buddhist Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Pema Tseden was born in 1969 in Amdo, in the Tibetan region of Qinghai Province. He is widely recognized as the leading filmmaker of a newly emerging Tibetan cinema and the first director in China to film his movies entirely in the Tibetan language. Tseden has published more than 50 short stories and novels both in Tibetan and Chinese. His work has won numerous awards including the Drang-char (sbrang-char) Tibetan Literature Prize and has been translated into English, French, and German. Since beginning his film career in 2002, Tseden has created a highly acclaimed body of work. Tseden is Chairman of the Directors Association of China; he is also a member of the Filmmakers and Literary Societies of China.
This event series is co-sponsored by Asia Society.