Daughters of Wisdom: Tibetan Women Fight Oppression Through Prayer, Hard Work

Director Bari Pearlman got the opportunity of a lifetime when a Buddhist spiritual leader invited her to accompany him on a trip to Eastern Tibet. High on a plateau near the Himalayas, Pearlman filmed this documentary portrait of 300 nuns who live, learn, and worship at the Kala Rongo Monastery. She and her gadgets may have been the only 21st-century tokens within miles, but what makes Daughters truly unique is its subject matter. Tibetan Buddhism has been closely regulated under Chinese rule. Despite some loosening of government restrictions in the '70s, the nuns here explain, women have been kept to the same hard quotidian of daily life at 14,000 feet. While men have traditionally had the opportunity to pray, women of the Nangchen district must till the fields, milk the yaks, and maintain their homes. Kala Rongo thus offers these women opportunities they've never had before. Though life is still rough by Western standards, Pearlman ably captures these nuns' enthusiasm and dedication. Even if you don't share their simple faith, the beautiful views are worth contemplating. 

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