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March 08, 2012

"Mustang" (video review)

Lo Manthang, Capital of Upper Mustang, Nepal
Source: Boerniefischer, Wikimedia Commons
Attribution: GFDL, CC BY 3.0

Mustang: Journey of Transformation
Will Parrinello, producer/director; Sarah Kass, writer
PBS Home Video

Situated in the north of Nepal and just south of Tibet, Mustang is a region that is technically part of the country of Nepal, but shares closer cultural ties with Tibet. Once a major trading site on the Silk Road, Mustang experienced its Golden Era during the middle ages and spent much of its wealth building its grand Buddhist monasteries. The monasteries, with their exquisite decoration, became crucial centers for education and tradition in the culture of Mustang. However, during the 18th century the wealth and trade of Mustang began to decline with the onset of conflicts and wars that eventually led to the region being closed off from the rest of the world. In 1991, the southern border of Mustang was finally re-opened, and conservators were welcomed to begin restoration projects for their ancient monasteries. John Sanday, a conservation architect, worked four years to repair and stabilize the structures with the approval of Mustang’s king, Jigme Palbar Bista. Luigi Fieni, an Italian conservationist, then began a ten-year project to restore the elaborate mural programs within the monasteries. Fieni worked to train local villagers in restoration work, thus involving and reconnecting the people of Mustang with their rich heritage. Featuring interviews with the conservationists, the Dalai Lama, and the people of Mustang, the film documents the truly inspiring efforts of a society to preserve their culture and identity.

This video is among the many available to borrow from Imageworks in the Art, Architecture and Engineering Library. Search for videos in Mirlyn or in our video database.

Posted by rmassare at March 8, 2012 12:00 PM

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