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This year’s Tricycle | BuddhaFest Online Film Festival opens and closes with films by director Victress Hitchcock. The festival opener, Blessings: The Tsoknyi Nangchen Nuns of Tibet, is about a group of Western women who go to visit a group of nuns in Eastern Tibet who study under Tsoknyi Rinpoche. It’s about the interactions between these two groups of women, the connections they make, and how they find ways to bridge the geographical and cultural gaps between them. It takes a hard look at the male dominated history of Buddhism in Tibet. It shows how these nuns—over 3,000 of them—are flourishing in over 35 nunneries. In short, it’s an awesome and serious film. And, if you need another reason to watch, it’s narrated by Richard Gere. 

In this week’s Tricycle Talk Blessings director Victress Hitchcock gives us a little peek behind the scenes of this film—the physical and artistic challenges, the dynamics between the groups of women, and what exactly it was about the whole experience that she tried to capture with her camera. Listen to the interview and watch the film’s trailer below.

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