You are here

The Silent Holy Stones - Movie by Tibetan Director Perma Tseden

1 post / 0 new
Jiaxing Weng-Zhang
Topic replies: 14
Topic Posts: 5
The Silent Holy Stones - Movie by Tibetan Director Perma Tseden

Film Review:

The trailer of The Silent Holy Stones:

TV series Journey to the West from 1986 (25 episodes) and sequel from 1998 (15 episodes) with English and Chinese subtitles, PG-13  

During the quarantine summer of 2020, I watched The Silent Holy Stones,  a 2006 Tibetan film written and directed by Tibetan director Pema Tseden.  Being a Han Chinese (91% of Chinese people are of Han ethnicity, among 56 total recognized ethnic groups), I am curious about Tibetan culture myself. I really enjoyed the style of this director.  He presents life in Tibet as the way it is rather than mystifies it.  Subsequently, I watched quite a few more movies directed by him.  (

This movie talks about a pre teenage boy, nicknamed “Little Lama”, who is studying/boarding at a Tibetan temple.  He is very curious and eager to learn new things around him.  He became fascinated by television and VCD, the latest fads in his community and with his persistence, he was able to spend his only holiday, the first three days of the new year, watching the VCD of the TV series “Journey to the West” (the 1986 version) along with his teachers, his peers at the temple and with his family.  

I would share this movie with my students watch the movie and have them select and complete one of  the following assignments

  1. On, write an 300 word essay that talks about where is Tibet, what do you know about Tibet before watching this movie, what do know about Tibet after watching this movie 

  2. Since you are a teenager who has grown up with TV, internet and many channels for entertainment while Llittle Lama was watching TV for the first time, and usually with disapproval from his teachers and family for the temptation and distraction TV might cause him from his study.  On Flipgrid, record yourself  sharing your view with Little Lama on the advantages and disadvantages  of TV viewing.  

  3. On, write your answer to the following questions: What do you know about Buddhism before watching this movie? What did you learn about Buddhism from this movie? Can you retell the story of the was performed  yearly during the New Year celebration? What is the benefit of Buddhism practices from what you see in the movie?

  4. Pretend you are Little Lama, create a 300 word dialogue between you and his father to persuade the father to let Little Lama keep the TV and VCR at the temple for a longer period of time.