In this modern, scientific world – a world on the verge of creating artificial intelligence, and a world that disparages anything not amenable to reason – I try in this film to explore some of the last genuine residues of Tibetan mysticism. Even among Tibetans themselves, their traditional beliefs and ways of behaving and looking at the world are increasingly rare and today carry little if any weight.
And yet, I believe this ancient wisdom, which reflects the Buddhist view of reality, has something vital to offer our modern world. Especially, I intend this film to express the deep respect for feminine energy embodied in that wisdom, and to portray in a contemporary setting both the transformative power of this energy and some of the ways it has traditionally been evoked.
Because it brings together so dramatically these modern and ancient worlds, I felt Nepal to be an ideal setting for this film. Besides the mountains and trekking for which it is popularly known, Nepal is a very spiritual and magical place, and I want to capture that quality both through the eyes of local inhabitants and in the way the film is shot.
For example, I have given the audience plenty of time for contemplation, so images move slow and may even stand still for a period. As well, I tried catching the magical qualities of life through the eyes of a character who is really panicked, which has been done using hand-held cameras.
It’s precisely because this film will evoke contemplation that the Director of Photography i choose is Mark Lee Ping Bing, for whose sensitivity, contemplative style, and amazing capacity to capture images I have always had the highest respect.
I used only non-professional actors, not only because – unlike in the west – there are few trained actors in Nepal, but also because the characters I am trying to portray have to be really genuine. For example, one of the characters is being portrayed by an actual highly respected spiritual master whose qualities and demeanour a hundred thousand trained actors could not fathom let alone convey.
Sadly, these days, we see everything from fashion and consumer goods to storytelling, books and films increasingly produced according to set formulae that are proven to “sell the product.” Though few films today escape the enormous influence of the Hollywood and Bollywood formulae, I explored in this film a distinctive Himalayan way of expression and storytelling that is true to this region’s culture, tradition and wisdom.
In such ways, and through its atmosphere and techniques , I hope this film will transport audiences to a profound, mystical, and yet very real and accessible dimension of life with which our modern world is sadly and rapidly losing touch.