Author: Jean

The Other Side of Dharma: A documentary about two Buddhist monks

The Other Side of Dharma: A documentary about two Buddhist monks

Review: These New Delhi brothers heal ‘All That Breathes’ in extraordinary documentary

One would expect nothing less than a two-part show: a documentary on how a Tibetan medical practice has become something of a religious rite, and then a series of healing surgeries performed by a pair of monks.

But The Other Side of Dharma, a three-hour film by Indian brothers Satyamurthy and Aishwarya, is neither of those. It’s much more than that: A profound exploration of the lives of two very unconventional Buddhist monks.

A great surprise comes in the film’s second half, when Satyamurthy and Aishwarya finally reveal how they have come to be performing these surgeries in the first place. (The film uses the word “surgery” extensively.)

The brothers, Satyamurthy, 40, and his brother, Aishwarya, 44, were raised in India’s small Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), where they pursued Western-style education.

At age 16, the brothers left their home to study abroad and attended a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Dharamsala, India, where they were exposed to a different kind of spirituality.

In their documentary, Satyamurthy and Aishwarya say they took medicine from the monks at Dharamsala Monastery, learning how to use their yogic technique for healing.

“They took a huge hit at the time, and they didn’t know why,” wrote Satyamurthy in an email exchange with The Hollywood Reporter. “I do not know why, but they took a hit. [I was] very fortunate that my parents were very close to the Dalai Lama, and my mother used to accompany me [back to TAR] when I would go back and work in Tibet. She was very much against my choice of going down. She said I should not go, there should be no Tibetan doctors there. I was fortunate that my parents were supportive

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