A feature documentary written &
directed by Johanna J. Lunn
There are different kinds of rulers in
this world: those who exert their power over others to control them and those
who teach others to rule their own lives.
An Uncommon King tells the life story of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche as he attempts to overcome
language, cultural and personal obstacles to take over from his wild pioneering
father Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. He is a Sakyong or “Earth Protector,” part of
a lineage of spiritual kings. When greed and aggression tip the balance of
nature and society, he is called upon to continue his father’s work to transmit
the antidote – teachings on how to bring about a good human society.
An Uncommon King was shot over 17 years in Tibet, India, China, Europe and North America.
Through verité footage, interviews and archival material the documentary
follows Rinpoche’s life story from his father’s escape over the mountaintops of
Tibet, to his birth in a refugee camp in India, to growing up in Colorado, to
moving to Nova Scotia and finally, to taking up the mantle after his father’s
death and teaching around the world. It embraces the universal themes of
family, heritage and cultural survival. But above all, it is a story about
A Joyful Vajra Production developed in
association with Centre East Media