Director Tobias Reeuwijk, along with the Princess of Bhutan will be in attendance for a special post-screening Q&A session.
“What if all your aspirations and potential could be rolled into one scroll?” - Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck, Royal Scholar and Bhutanese Art Historian
The Kingdom of Bhutan is the only remaining Vajrayana Buddhist country in the world today. The major difference between Vajrayana Buddhism and all other Buddhist sects across Asia is the incorporation of the thangka in meditation. Thangkas are intricately painted scrolls that act as a form of spiritual and historical storytelling, passing on blessings of past spiritual gurus. The more a practitioner meditates using these sacred scrolls, the more they become united with the image. This spiritual practice is aimed at deepening their connection to the Buddha nature within. Accessing the Buddha nature is considered the epitome of compassion, understanding the true nature of reality and reaching for enlightenment.
Because of decades of neglect, thousands of ancient masterpieces, and the rich cultural heritage embedded in every scroll, are on the brink of being lost forever. By a twist of fate, an American art conservation master crosses paths with four monks and a royal scholar, thus embarking on a lifelong journey to restore these holy relics to their former glory. We follow the Conservation Workshop team over the course of three years as they race against a mass extinction of their living culture, and learn the art of letting go along the way.
1000 HANDS OF THE GURU, directed by Hawaii-raised and Punahou graduate Tobias Reeuwijk, is an intimate portrait and important work that captures this endangered culture and the fight to sustain it for future generations.