|Cast: ||Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche, Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche|
|Crew: ||Executive Producers: Babeth Vanloo - Producers: Mark Elliott - Cinematographer: Mark Elliott - Editor: Doug Beechwood
Recognized as the reincarnation ('yangsi') of one of the most revered Tibetan Masters of the 20th century, Ugyen Tenzin Jigme Lhundrup must train to perpetuate this legacy, starting with an enthronement before thousands at age four. 'Yangsi' follows this process, from childhood up to the time he embarks on a world tour at the age of eighteen to fully assume the mantle of his predecessor. Along the way, we witness this young man's unusual candor as the struggles with the notion that, according to Tibetan Buddhist belief, he is a reincarnation of such a powerful and respected master. He wonders aloud at one point during a youth audience why his teachers chose this 'weird young boy' for the role.Yet amongst everyday events we witness him chart a course through his challenges that leads him to genuinely discover what this unique inheritance means to him. Short interviews with eminent Buddhist teachers, such as Dzongsar Khyentse and Matthieu Ricard, explore facets of the 'reincarnation' issue, from traditional beliefs to an honest questioning of spirituality in the modern age. Filmed in large part in Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, over a period of 14 years, Yangsi tells a unique coming of age story as it explores the doubts and hesitations along with the unusual strength of character of the 'Yangsi'.
Mark Elliott has been making documentary films since the early 1970's, when he walked into Dharamsala, India, with a primitive video camera and made a film on Tibetans in exile at the invitation of the Dalai Lama. His films include 'The Lion's Roar', the acclaimed portrait of the Sixteenth Karmapa; 'Concert in the Sky' featuring the high wire walker Philippe Petit; 'Crow Dog's Paradise' with the Lakota medicine men Henry and Leonard Crow Dog; and 'Eros, Love and Lies' with R.D. Laing. His films have been shown on television internationally, and in the US through outlets such as The Discovery Channel, Landmark Theaters and PBS.
'Yangsi' is the most personal film I have made. It follows the path of a four your old boy, the incarnation of one of the most revered Tibetan Lamas of the twentieth century, from early childhood until he reaches maturity. The Lama, Dilgo Khyenste Rinpoche was the teacher of my teacher, the boy an enchanting little being with whom I made an immediate connection when I first met him at the age of four. He is called 'The Yangsi', the one who has come again into existence.