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Documentary Short Screenings: Tashi and the Monk and The Last Honey Hunter at Southampton Arts Center
August 3, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm$10
Documentary Shorts presented with Telluride Mountainfilm and Rogers Memorial Library
About Tashi and the Monk (2014 | 75 minutes):
On a remote mountain top a brave social experiment is taking place. Buddhist Monk Lobsang was trained under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama but 8 years ago he left behind a life as a spiritual teacher in the United States to create a unique community in the foothills of the Himalayas which rescues orphaned and neglected children.
5 year-old Tashi is the newest arrival. Her mother recently passed away and she’s been abandoned by her alcoholic father. Wild and troubled, Tashi is struggling to find her place amongst 84 new siblings. Lobsang has channeled his own unhappy childhood into an opportunity for other ‘uninvited guests of the universe’ to avoid a similar fate. But Can the community’s love and compassion transform Tashi’s alienation and tantrums into a capacity to make her first real friend?
The Last Honey Hunter (USA | 2017 | 36 minutes):
In the mist-shrouded mountains of Nepal’s Hongu River valley, the Kulung people carve their lives out of the land and practice an ancient form of animism structured around the god Rongkemi. There you will find a wiry and unassuming man named Mauli Dhan Rai, who is believed to be chosen by the gods for the perilous rite of honey harvesting. The task, which involves climbing rope ladders up sheer cliffs to cut down combs made by the world’s largest honeybee (before collecting the poisonous honey within), is extraordinarily dangerous. But it’s a spiritual pursuit soaked in myth that the Kulung believe taps directly into the gods. And with roads, technology and market forces, it may not be around for long.
This film, a 2016 Mountainfilm Commitment Grant winner directed by Ben Knight, puts a spotlight on a remarkable practice under threat of modernity.