Compassion in Exile
The Story of the 14th Dalai Lama (1982)
Directed by Mickey Lemle
Music by Philip Glass
"As a free spokesman for my captive countrymen and women, I feel it is my duty to speak out on their behalf. I speak not with a feeling of anger or hatred towards those who are responsible for the immense suffering of our people and the destruction of our land, homes, and culture. They too are human beings who struggle to find happiness, and deserve our compassion. I speak to inform you of the aspirations of my people because, in our struggle for freedom, truth is the only weapon we possess."
— His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Compassion in Exile is an intimate portrait of Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. Inherent in the life story of this Nobel Peace Prize laureate is the saga of the suffering of the Tibetan people under Chinese occupation.
For over forty years the Dalai Lama has waged a non-violent struggle in exile to bring attention to the plight of his people and save their unique culture and religion. He is the embodiment of the ideal of his Buddhist heritage and practice, and his life story is an inspiring lesson in compassion and peace.
For this film, the Dalai Lama personally granted director Mickey Lemle unprecedented access and cooperation. With candor and humor, he describes his upbringing and key moments in his life, detailing historic events including his becoming head of state at the age of sixteen, journeying to Beijing at nineteen to confront Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, and fleeing to India at twenty.
Using historic and some never-before-seen footage, his remarkable story is also remembered by the people closest to him, including his older brother, his sister, and Heinrich Harrer (his childhood tutor and the author of Seven Years In Tibet).
Tibetan exiles are interviewed for direct testimony about conditions in Tibet under the Chinese, and the Dalai Lama himself voices his concerns for Tibet, his lack of hatred of the Chinese, and his hopes for a peaceful future.
A Film by Mickey Lemle.
Produced by Lemle Pictures Inc. in association with Central Productions Ltd. UK.
Music Composed by Philip Glass.