An intimate portrait of a young Tibetan who is recognized as the reincarnation of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, one of the most revered Tibetan Buddhist masters of the twentieth century. He is known as The Yangsi, ‘the one who has come again into existence’. Providing a unique window into the world of Tibetan Buddhism, this film is a coming of age story with universal themes, made over a fourteen year period by Mark Elliott, an acclaimed filmmaker and longtime student of Tibetan Buddhism.
Narrated by Yangsi Rinpoche, he gives a first person account of his experience of growing up in, and coming to terms with, his unique inheritance. The film begins with his enthronement at age four before a crowd of fifteen thousand people in Kathmandu, Nepal. He is then removed from his family to undergo his training under the care of the previous Khyentse Rinpoche’s regent and grandson, Rabjam Rinpoche. Much of the film revolves around their relationship.
With unprecedented access the film chronicles his life during academic and ritual training, intimate family visits and transmission of tantric practices by teachers who had received them from him during his former life. His mentors include Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche, the renowned filmmaker of “the Cup”, Sogyal Rinpoche, author of ‘The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” and Matthieu Ricard, best selling writer, photographer and translator.
Filmed largely in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan and in Nepal, ‘Yangsi’ presents everyday events in a reincarnation’s life, where a mother’s love plays as important a role as high tantric empowerments. Where tradition is challenged by modernity, and human relationships are as vital as study. Where imperfection meets with aspiration. And where doubt challenges devotion when having to live up to great expectations.