TUKDAM – BETWEEN WORLDS

North American Premiere


SPIRIT | DOCS

Finland, Ireland, Estonia 2022, 91 min, Director: Donagh Coleman

Is it possible to die in a consciously controlled way? The Tibetan Buddhist tradition of “tukdam,” a practice of meditating at the deepest level of consciousness right before death, has been shown to delay rigor mortis and other post-mortem decay for days or even weeks. The bodies of those in tukdam remain warm and in the meditation position even after they are declared medically dead. Through interviews with Western scientists, Tibetan medical professionals, the Dalai Lama, and respected bhikkhus, Donagh Coleman’s fascinating documentary explores current research into the practice, in which the cessation of brain function, breathing, and heart activity is not necessarily life’s clear-cut end but instead a pliant threshold. The researchers run into challenges as they try to apply modern science to ancient tradition, delving ever deeper into a universal mystery, and testing our most ardent assumptions about the relationship between body and mind.  —Kris Chesson

In English and Tibetan with English subtitles

Guest expected: director Donagh Coleman



Showtimes

In-Person


6:30 PM — Rafael 3

5:00 PM — Rafael 3

Virtual


Oct 6, 12:00 AM — Oct 17, 12:00 AM Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Director

Donagh Coleman’s documentaries include TEXTURES (2008) and A GESAR BARD’S TALE (2014). He has also made radio documentaries for RTÉ, Ireland’s national public broadcaster, and YLE, Finland’s national broadcaster. He is currently working on his medical anthropology PhD at UC Berkeley, where his dissertation is on tukdam.

Film Info

Year:

2022

Running Time:

91

Languages:

English, Tibetan

Director:

Donagh Coleman

Producers:

Kaarle Aho, Martha O'Neill

Cinematographers:

Mika Mattila, Satya Rai Nagpaul, Donagh Coleman, Peter Flinckenberg

Editors:

Mirjam Strugalla

Writers:

Donagh Coleman

sections:

Subtitles:

English