For the most up-to-date preview of the movie visit vimeo.com/26610713. WHEN THE IRON BIRD FLIES is projected to be released early 2012.
For centuries, Buddhism was practiced in near isolation in the rugged mountain country of Tibet. While western civilization focused on the development of material technology, Tibetan culture concentrated on the development of ‘spiritual technologies,’ mind techniques for mapping the route to the highest spiritual attainment. Then, in 1959, with the Chinese invasion, everything changed. Now, fifty years later, there are Tibetan Buddhist meditation centers in every major city in the western world, two three-year retreat centers in France alone, and the Dalai Lama has 92,000 followers on Twitter.
David Petit, husband of Tibetan Buddhist teacher Lama Tsultrim Allione and co-founder of Tara Mandala retreat center, died unexpectedly in the night during the summer of 2010 a month before his 55th birthday. Just a few weeks prior, filmmaker Victress Hitchcock spent time with David and Lama Tsultrim on the land at Tara Mandala, talking with them about their life together for a feature documentary on Tibetan Buddhism in the West. David's sudden death left his family, friends, and sangha saddened yet deeply inspired by the depth of his practice and spiritual commitment. David's spirit shines through in this intimate portrait, set in the glowing beauty of southern Colorado. The film concludes with his open air cremation and the scattering of his ashes.