This is a film about Xuan Zang and his legacy made for Bhutan Broadcasting Service Corporation by the writer and photographer Pawo Choyning Dorji, who for the past couple of years has spent his time retracing Xuan Zang’s journey from China to India in the 7th century, and visiting many of the famous places the pilgrim is known to have visited.
He begins his account by recalling the history of Buddhism and Xuan Zang’s part in it, and has a very interesting timeline showing how Buddhism grew and spread, then went into decline, until it was reinvigorated during the 19th century following the discovery and translation into English of Xuan Zang’s works.
He then talks about his own personal journey retracing the original steps of the journey and gives an insight into the present condition of many of the sites along the way. Apart from Afghanistan he does seem to have been to most of the main centres, and also to Sri Lanka, which Xuan Zang only dreamed of visiting.
It is a different and interesting way to retell the story, and it is also a great undertaking that Dorji is making, and he is obviously an accomplished photographer as we can see from many of the photographs included in the film.