When the Iron Bird Flies
Victress Hitchcock

When the Iron Bird Flies

Regular price $22.95

When the Iron Bird Flies: Tibetan Buddhism Arrives in the West

A film by Victress Hitchcock
96 minutes, 2012. NTSC DVD

English. USA

In 1959, the Chinese invasion of Tibet threw opened the doors to the mysterious realm of Tibetan Buddhism and suddenly this rich, ancient tradition was propelled into the modern world. Half a century later, Padmasambhava's prophecy has come true and the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism are found in every corner of the earth.

Now, the key question is - “In these increasingly challenging times, can these profound teachings help us find genuine happiness and create a saner, more compassionate 21st century world?”

TRAILER: WHEN THE IRON BIRD FLIES: Tibetan Buddhism Arrives in the West from Chariot Videos on Vimeo.

When the Iron Bird Flies takes on the daring task of understanding the many ways that these ancient teachings are meeting modern Western minds and hearts. The film is breathtaking in its historical scope and provocative in its exploration of the groundbreaking meeting of East and West that is at the heart of this new Buddhism.

Through candid interviews with contemporary teachers and practitioners, rare archival footage, and striking images of modern life that illuminate and make accessible the Buddha's core teachings, the film creates a vivid and entertaining portrait of the world of Tibetan Buddhism in the West.


When the Iron Bird Flies is a creative and wide-ranging guide to the spread of a rich spiritual tradition. It’s an invaluable resource to newcomers and seasoned devotees of Tibetan Buddhism.” - Spirituality and Practice

"When the Iron Bird Flies paints a compelling portrait of modern Tibetan Buddhism outside Tibet" - Tricycle Magazine [Read the full article here]

"The film is a vivid and engaging account of the movement of the Buddha Dharma - the teachings and practices of Buddhism - to the West...Viewers of the film will come away with the discovery that they have learned a great deal. But even more, their hearts will have been opened and perhaps melted by the uplifting gift of genuine spirituality as it flows from teacher to student in a pattern free of time, showing us the way to go beyond the suffering and upheavals of our days and years." - Light of Consciousness Magazine


Director: Victress Hitchcock
Producers: Victress Hitchcock + Amber Bemak
Editor: Catherine Hollander
Consulting Editor: Johanna Kemetrakas

Music: William (Kip) Kuepper IV, Steve Tibbetts, Loopsy Dazy, David Hykes, Travis Callison, Ravenna Michalsen, and others

Fleet Maull
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Dr. Reginald Ray
Dr. Richard Davidson
Richard Gere
Lama Tsultrim Allione
Gene Smith
Matthieu Ricard 
Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche
Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche
Anam Thubten
Tsoknyi Rinpoche
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
Geshe Kelsang Wangmo
B. Alan Wallace
Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche
Kongtrul Rinpoche
and others...



“This film is a riveting, poignant and beautiful window into the flowering of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. Please watch and listen – it touches the place in us that longs to realize truth and live from our awakened heart.” - Tara Brach, Buddhist teacher and author of Radical Acceptance

“When the Iron Bird Flies chronicles the unlikely advent of Tibetan Buddhism into America and its capacity to influence and offer effective methods for dealing with life’s challenges, whatever the background. This is an important documentary… that chronicles Tibetan Buddhism’s ability to adapt to cultural environment while maintaining its basic integrity. Tibetan Buddhism has now expanded into so many countries and wherever it lands, it remains relevant, applying itself as a potent medicine to the condition of suffering which as a human family we all experience.” - Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

“With a chorus of many voices and a cast of intelligent appealing characters, When the Iron Bird Fliesshows a new/old and better way to live in an increasingly dark time.” - Jeffery Paine, Author, Re-enchantment: Tibetan Buddhism Comes to the West  

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