(Kokonor + Tantric Yogi)
Džangbu / RC, 2005
Tibetan version / English and Czech subtitles, 101 min
Kokonor is a documentary about the effects tourism is having on a small Tibetan community around the famous Lake Kokonor (Qinghai, P.R. of China). Lake Qinghai, an area that used to be known only as a sacred ground of Tibetan Buddhism, has now become the most famous tourist attraction in the west of China, bearing even some international recognition. By following a group of children that pose for tourists' pictures, the filmmaker documents how the influx of money, Chinese entrepreneurs and tourists is impacting the ecosystem, the lives of the local Tibetan population, and the preservation of Tibetan culture and religious practices in this area.
Jim Broadbent narrates this eventful and comic road trip, a kind of Tibetan Canterbury Tales - by bus, tractor and boat. A village in eastern Tibet sets out on a cross-country pilgrimage led by its Chief Tantric Yogi (Wangdrak) to the One Hundred Thousand Gathering, which takes place only once every 60 years. Struggling with their huge bread offering across mountain and vale, the pilgrims encounter all kinds of obstacles and arrive at the Namdzong Gathering late, where they find panic in the monastery.