Unlike this year's earlier Tibetan-themed biopic, SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET, Martin Scorsese's quietly devastating film really is
about the Dalai Lama. It is, in fact, more an intimate film than an epic, although it occasionally rises to
that heroic level. The film sets itself a straightforward task: to tell the life story of Tenzin Gyatso from the moment he was recognized as the 14th incarnation of the Dalai Lama until his exile to India in 1959. At various key intervals -- we see him at ages 2 (played by Tenzin Yeshi Paichang),
5 (Tulku Jamyang Kunga Tenzin) and 12 (Gyurme Tethong), and finally as a young adult (Tenzin Thuthob Tsarong) -- the upheavals that res...