Compassion in Exile
Mickey Lemle

Compassion in Exile

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COMPASSION IN EXILE: His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama

A documentary film by Mickey Lemle
60 minutes,1993. NTSC DVD

English. USA

Compassion in Exile is an intimate portrait of Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. The film explores the progressive arch of how a child, born in a cow barn to a peasant family, has become the moral voice on the planet. Inherent in the story of this 1989 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is the plight of the Tibetan people, and the brutal genocide they have endured since the Communist Chinese invasion in 1950. In this film, the Dalai Lama personally granted unprecedented access and cooperation. Many Tibetans who were imprisoned, tortured, and forced into exile by the Chinese bear witness to their ordeals. Historic and present-day footage open the mystery of Tibet, the country that inspired the legend of Shangri-la.

For over fifty years in exile the Dalai Lama has waged a nonviolent struggle 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, humor and peace.

A feature-length documentary, Compassion in Exile was filmed on location in India, England and in the United States. Co-produced with Central Television, UK. Nominated for two Emmy Awards: Best Documentary and Best Director of a Documentary. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences selected it as “One of 14 Best Feature Documentaries of the Year.” Awarded the Gold Medal, New York Festivals International; the Grand Prize - Justice and Human Rights Award at the EarthPeace International Film Festival; a Distinguished Documentary Achievement Award by the International Documentary Association; and Best in Festival at the Humboldt International Film Festival. Broadcast on ITV in the United Kingdom and on PBS in the United States.


“Alive filmmaking…intensely moving” – New Times

“Beautifully shot…a sense of directness. His story is inextricably entwined with that of Tibet.” – Tricycle

“One of the delights of Compassion in Exile … is the joy-filled laugh of the film’s subject, a man they call ‘His Holiness’." – San Francisco Chronicle

Goodman, Walter; The Dalai Lama as Boy, Man, Leader; The New York Times; July 6, 1993
Roush, Matt; Critic’s Corner; USA Today; July 6, 1993
Walek, Gordon; Film Offers Touching View of Dalai Lama; Daily Herald, Chicago; July 6, 1993
Stack, Peter; Documentary Views Dalai Lama in Exile; San Francisco Chronicle; June 25, 1993
Freeman, Martin; Tribute to Oppressed Tibetans; Hong Kong Standard; April 12, 1992
Braude, Jonathan; The Images of Repression; South China Morning Post; April 12, 1992

Mitchell, Emily; Compassion In Exile; The Life of the 14th Dalai Lama; Time International; April 20, 1992


Featuring: HH the XIVth Dalai Lama, Heinrich Harrer

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