Dreaming Lhasa

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 17


Audience Score

User Ratings: 947
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Movie Info

Karma, a Tibetan filmmaker from New York, goes to Dharamsala, the Dalai Lama's exile headquarters in northern India, to make a documentary about former political prisoners who have escaped from Tibet. She wants to reconnect with her roots but is also escaping a deteriorating relationship back home. One of Karma's interviewees is Dhondup, an enigmatic ex-monk who has just escaped from Tibet. He confides in her that his real reason for coming to India is to fulfill his dying mother's last wish: to deliver a charm box to a long-missing resistance fighter. Karma finds herself unwittingly falling in love with Dhondup even as she is sucked into the passion of his quest, which becomes a journey into Tibet's fractured past and a voyage of self-discovery.

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Critic Reviews for Dreaming Lhasa

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (8)

  • Whenever the filmmakers stray from Dhondup's story (and the tales of other refugees), they tend to lose their way.

    May 4, 2007 | Rating: 2/4
  • The fictional story incorporates harrowing documentary testimony from former Tibetan political prisoners, but essentially this is a hopeful look at a resilient people keeping their traditions alive as they move into the digital age.

    May 4, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Dreaming Lhasa goes a long way on the strength of its exotic visuals and gently urgent narrative, but in the end it doesn't go quite far enough.

    May 4, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • A sensitive if literal-minded tale that demonstrates how Tibet's national identity is of a piece with its spiritual heart.

    May 4, 2007

    Robert Koehler

    Top Critic
  • A static and awkward effort that never quite comes to life.

    Apr 24, 2007
  • Manages to enchant with its simplicity and scenery.

    Apr 20, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dreaming Lhasa

  • Jun 11, 2008
    [font=Century Gothic]In "Dreaming Lhasa," Karma(Tenzin Chokyi Gyatso) is in the city of Dharamsala in Northern India to film a documentary with the assistance of Jigme(Tenzin Jigme) of Tibetan exiles detailing their ordeal at the hands of the occupying Chinese.(Karma herself is of Tibetan heritage.) One of her interviewees is Dhondup(Jampa Kalsang) who has been charged with returning a charm box to a fellow Tibetan whose current whereabouts are unknown. Sensing a story, Karma helps Dhondup, even accompanying him to Delhi...[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Dreaming Lhasa" is a well-meaning movie with a paper thin story and amateurish performances. Still, this is an honorable try at depicting the heartbreak of a people watching their country slowly disappear under the weight of oppression and deciding what to do next. Some simply move on while others fight in whatever way they know how, be it to return to their native country and an unknown fate or to begin a hunger strike. [/font]
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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