In Tibet, the word for woman translates as "lower rebirth." In a remote eastern region of the country, the Tsoknyi Nangchen nuns defy this definition. Devoted to the ancient practices of Tibetan Buddhism - once primarily a male domain - over 3,000 nuns have attained elevated status. Director Victress Hitchcock honors them in this moving documentary, which follows the journey of a small group of Western women to remote mountain hermitages to meet these nuns. Buddhist teacher and spiritual leader Tsoknyi Rinpoche III leads the group, imparts his knowledge, and bridges the gap between cultures. Narrated by Richard Gere, Blessings explains the Tibetan Buddhist monastic system and the changing role of women within it, incorporating historic black-and-white footage from the 1960s Cultural Revolution of the People's Republic of China, when all forty Nangchen nunneries were destroyed. Many of the nuns were imprisoned in work camps; others scattered back to their nomadic families. A few ...
Starz Denver Film Festival