From Bhutan's awakening national cinema comes the story of Buddhist saint, Milarepa, who makes a perilious journey from vengeance to enlightenment.
Fans of Bhutan's TRAVELERS AND MAGICIANS and THE CUP should note the emergence of another leading name in Bhutanese film: actor turned director Neten Cholking (THE CUP), who charts the life journey of a revered figure in Tibetan Buddhism.
With cinematography that couldn't be more breathtaking - the setting is the Split Valley, between India and Tibet, near enough to the roof of the world -- but the film's hero is (at first) decidedly down to earth.
Born into privilege in 1105, the young Milarepa is plunged into near-slavery when his father dies and his legacy goes to a cruel uncle and aunt. Schooled in bitterness and sorcery by his mother, he's meant to be the instrument of a long-boiling, deadly revenge plot. How can a saint-to-be break free and find enlightenment?
"A first class production all the way, and the acting is top-notch, even when performed by non-professionals (it was shot in India using Tibetan locals). The historical props are also thoroughly convincing, and viewers will feel that they've gained some sense of Tibetan history and culture."
-Peter Brunette, Screen International
"A worthy and engaging period pic….good use of spectacular Indian locations. Impressive."
Russell Edwards, Variety
"All the entertainment value of THE CUP and TRAVELLERS AND MAGICIANS and filled with the Buddhist teaching that's never heavy handed. Milarepa's story shows that the path to spiritual enlightenment is accessible to all. Highly recommended. A-"
-Howard Schumann, Talking Pictures(UK)