Culture News, 04/12/2017

Touching Story of Devotion in English

“Hannah: Buddhism’s Untold Journey” documentary will be screened in Kharkiv 8 ½ cinema on December 7-13.

This is the story of an outstanding Danish woman, translator and Buddhist practitioner who, together with her husband Ole Nydahl, devoted her life to promoting Tibetan Buddhism around the world and also in Ukraine. A Danish newspaper referred to her as the “Mother of Buddhism.”

The film starts from Hannah Nydahl’s idealistic roots as a hippy in Copenhagen and follows her and her husband Ole to the hedonistic city of Kathmandu during their honeymoon in 1968, where they became two of the first Western students of the 16th Karmapa – the man who had changed their lives as they felt they had “found something that gave meaning to everything.”


However, the film is rather about inspiring love and selflessness than religion. This is a story of perseverance, courage and service to people. It is about “a woman who opened the minds of thousands but gave her heart to one,” the filmmakers note.

They point out at the hard Hannah’s work on translating a great bulk of Buddhism texts from Tibetan into English and her interpreter’s skills.

“The film portrays the path of a great woman at the forefront of a turbulent, ever-changing world. ‘Hannah’ explores how the Buddhist ideal of freedom, in all its forms, is more relevant today than ever and why everything Tibetan should not be considered holy,” the authors indicate.

The film was made in 2013, though it is only this year that it is screened in Ukraine for the first time.

“First the film was presented in festivals and got numerous awards in Great Britain, Spain, India, Canada, the USA, Australia and other countries. Also, translation into Ukrainian took some time,” the organizers explain.

Screening in Ukraine in 2017 is somehow symbolic as 10 years ago Hannah Nydahl passed away, and the film recalls the woman, who said, “Death is not something one needs to be afraid of.”

The film is screened in English and subtitled in Ukrainian which is convenient both for Kharkivites and for the city visitors.

Text: Olena Sokolynska

Photo: hannahthefilm