A Gesar Bard’s Tale. 2013. China/Finland. Directed by Donagh Coleman, Lharigtso. In Tibetan; English subtitles. 82 min.
As a boy, Dawa was an illiterate Tibetan nomad whose life revolved around herding yaks. At 13, his life changed: through a series of visions, Dawa acquired the gift of telling the epic story of Tibet’s King Gesar. Now, at 35, Dawa receives a salary from the Chinese government as a guardian of national cultural heritage and is regarded as a holy man by his community. When an earthquake reduced his hometown to rubble, Chinese redevelopment of the region took a giant leap forward. In the midst of such seismic shifts, Dawa seeks healing from King Gesar and other divine protectors of the land.