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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 human goodness.

A Joyful Vajra Production developed in association with Centre East Media
73 minutes

Link to our trailer on Vimeo


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