The Unwinking Gaze Review

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A rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into the life of Tibet's revered leader, the Dalai Lama.


Taking its title from the Buddha’s practise of staring out the sacred Bodhi tree after he achieved enlightenment, Joshua Dugdale’s documentary may fail to achieve a similar level of wisdom but it does give us though is a real insight into the life of the world’s most famous refugee. Granted full access into the Dalai Lama’s inner circle as the holy man continues his decades-long struggle to free Tibet from Chinese rule, Dugdale aims for impartiality, but a fairly blatant agenda tends to shine through the cracks: the erudite spiritual leader is depicted as a bit of a charmer and representatives of the Chinese government are often made to look rather foolish. However, while it’s far from even-handed in its approach, as a portrait of a person driven by the tenets of love and peace this is hard to beat.

It's not as smart as it could have been but as an initimate portrayal of the Dalai Lama, this is hard to beat.