Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries, and Nonfiction Storytelling

THE TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD – Review by James R (Jim) Martin

DSC00836crpbookdeadThe Tibetan Book Of The Dead has a mysterious, even ominous sound to it conjuring up thoughts of mystical contact with dead spirits in some sort of secret way. The Canadian Film Board, two-part documentary film, The Tibetan Book Of The Dead – A Way Of Life – The Great Liberation, narrated by Leonard Cohen explores the actuality behind the mythical title. The Dali Lama makes a brief appearance in the film to help explain the connection to Buddhist thought. The realities of death cannot be disputed or avoided. The Tibetan Book Of The Dead is an ancient archive of guidance and strength. It remains a source of wisdom and teaching beginning with the spiritual cultures of the Himalayas. This documentary is an authentic, insightful look at these traditions.

Both Part 1, A Way of Life and Part 2,  The Great Liberation, of the documentary contain beautifully shot footage of the people of the area and their environment. Leonard Cohen’s narration gives more insight into the readings and explains the beliefs of the participants. Part 2 adds some creative touches with animation by Ishu Patel, depicting spirits and light referred to in the rituals.

To read the full review go to  The Tibetan Book Of The Dead Documentary Review at

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