Upcoming Shows

We've been named as a official selection in the Southern Circuit of Filmmakers Tour, March 17-24.

Shows are in Hapeville, GA 3/17, Madison, GA 3/20, Orangeburg, SC 3/22, Gainsville, GA 3/23, and Manteo, NC 3/24.
Learn more by going to the SouthArts blog.

View the theatrical trailer for A Gift for the Village

Thursday, July 1, 2010

from Jane, July 1

Hello, Friends. Our third showing of A Gift for the Village this evening was a wonderful success, with a sweet group of Nepalis and travelers, including a social worker from Spain and university administrators from Minnesota. Again, the film created great emotion, and brought people to tears. We are so gratified.

We spent the day walking from Pashupatinath to Boudha, from the cremation ghats along the Bagmati River, to one of the two holiest Buddhist stupas in the valley. At Pashupati we saw an incredible ceremony which Jenna filmed: the one-year anniversary remembrance of a beloved Pashupati sadhu's death.

Most incredible was a sadhu (holy man) dressed as Hanuman, the monkey god, with a huge hairy tail-appendage, curled up higher than his head, and his lower face masked with half a coconut hull, painted livid red. The effect was to make him seem as if he were really a monkey, but tall and dancing like a man, and in splendid garish marigold and silver and ruby swaths of ornamented cloth.

Jenna admitted that the costume actually spooked her, because the piercing painted eyes of this Hanuman figure seemed convincingly like a monkey-god's. I felt the same eerieness, and Mika later made the same observation, about the strange intensity of this dancing Hanuman.

Among the gypsy sounds of the sadhus, the manic tinny tambourines and the hoarse thigh-bone horns, and amidst the billowing smoke of the smouldering cremations, I saw the most impressive retinue of committed sadhus I have seen in my 25 years of traveling to south Asia. These men were handsome and elegant, emaciated and languid, classic in their statuesque features, like the Roman art of Praxiteles in the 5th century B.C.; like the Dying Gaul, or later, the Laocoon. Some were dressed in pastels, apricots my grandmother would have selected, and others, in acid lemons and pomegranate crushes of color. Some looked as if their faces had not produced sound for all eternity, and others were sweating, singing metallic plaintive prayers.

At Boudha, the world smells like juniper, and the Tibetan women walking round in their striped aprons look like sturdy satellites to the beautiful hemispheric reliquary, with its blue and golden eyes facing the four directions. I always feel relieved to be near Tibetans, especially when they write me an e-mail:

Date: July 1, 2010 07:49:43 +0000
From: Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Dear Jane Lillian Vance,

I have been directed by Mr. Chhime R. Chhoekyapa, Secretary to His
Holiness the Dalai Lama, to response to your letter.
He sends His prayers and good wishes for the success of your

We very much appreciated and congratulated for completing your film
project on Tsampa Ngawang Lama of Mustang, Nepal, which took over 9½
years to complete. We are very much sure that your film will bring about
greater awareness of the rich cultural heritage of the people living in
places like Mustang.

We once again very much appreciated your thoughtful gesture for sending us
NTSC version and PAL format of your documentary film.

With best wishes,

Yours Sincerely,

Tsultrim Dorjee
Administrative Assistant

Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Thekchen Choeling
P.O. Mcleod Ganj
Dharamsala 176219

For now, goodnight from Kathmandu. Everyone on the team sends their love. Jane


Barbara said...

Little Mary...all 4lbs 9oz of her has moved in with us for a while....she will be receiving daily antibiotics and baths to keep the area clean. she and Jessica will be roommates for another week or so..

Hasina said...

Hello Jane/Reba/Jenna & Tom
Congratulations on the success of "A Gift for the Village".I wish we (sheetal, manoj and me) were there too . I remember 3 yrs ago we said hopefully we would make this trip together, but here i am reading everyone's blog for the very first time and feels like i'm already in nepal.
This monday and tuesday ie july 5th and 6th we are making a trip to west virginia for rafting and zip lining. Do let us know when you guys return so that we can get-together.
Reba /Mary &Ella hope you guys are in better health now!! Enjoy ure trip!!