Return to Gandhi Road
Director: Yeshe Hegan | 90 min | 2019 | France, India, New Zealand
“A moving tribute to an extraordinary teacher and philosopher… a meditation on the power of faith.”
– Carol Hirschfeld, Journalist and Broadcaster
Born in Tibet in the late 1890s, Kangyur Rinpoche was acknowledged as a great Buddhist scholar and tertön (a discoverer of ancient hidden texts). He spent much of his life as a wandering hermit and left Tibet in the 1950s. Under the instructions of the Dalai Lama, he braved the dangerous journey over the Himalayan mountains to India, rescuing two tons of Buddhist texts that faced potential destruction amid a growing lack of tolerance of religion within China’s communist regime.
Kangyur Rinpoche’s journey, across the Himalayas on foot and accompanied by his young family, took over three years. Once in India, the family settled in Darjeeling, where he built a monastery, Orgyen Kunzang Choling, at 54 Gandhi Road.
“Inspiring and moving, essential viewing.”
– Nathan Haines, Musician
Kangyur Rinpoche became one of the first Buddhist masters to accept Western students. One of those was New Zealander Kim Hegan, who had ended up in Darjeeling in the 1960’s almost by accident, coincidentally arriving at Kangyur Rinpoche’s front door. Kangyur Rinpoche passed away in 1975.
Kim returned to NZ and joined his father’s music business, managing artists including Billy T James and Dave Dobbyn, and organising tours for international artists coming into NZ.
35 years after Kangyur Rinpoche’s passing, another renowned Teacher, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche visits New Zealand and persuades Kim to return to India to tell the story of Kangyur Rinpoche’s life, with Kim’s daughter, Yeshe, in the director’s chair.
Gandhi Road was shot by Fred Renata, who also shot Michael Bennett’s The Confessions of Prisoner T and Tearepa Kahi’s music docos Herbs - Songs of Freedom and Poi E: The Story of Our Song.