Mustang: A Kingdom on the Edge

2011, Society  -   13 Comments
Ratings: 8.67/10 from 21 users.

Mustang: A Kingdom on the EdgeWhile Tibetan Buddhism is squeezed inside of China's borders, there is a place where it still survives intact: Upper Mustang - a once forbidden kingdom high in the Nepalese Himalayas.

Steve Chao travels there to document the fight to preserve an ancient culture, as China expands its influence into Nepal, and the modern world slowly creeps in.

There is a reason for China's concern. In the 1960s, shortly after the Dalai Lama fled Tibet for India, a Tibetan resistance movement was formed in a place called Mustang.

Mustang, or Lo, as locals call it, is an ancient Tibetan kingdom that is now part of Nepal. Hidden in the Himalayas, the world's highest mountain range, it is protected by its remoteness, and the fact the only way in and out for centuries was on horseback.

More great documentaries

13 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Quinn310

    when I tried to watch it said it is not available in this country....??

  2. Savannah Lennsbrooke

    Free Tibet? And then what? People are quick to fight for a cause because it seems cruel and unnecessary but it isn't common to hear what people suggest after China's economy leaves Tibet. Also, where would Tibet start getting It's resources? It would still have to do business with China. Tibetan wages are also the 2nd highest in all the Providences of China. Also, why is there no outcry about the McDonalds brought into other countries such as Costa Rica? It takes out certain charm, I realize, but it also does help with an economy.
    Has it also been forgotten what Tibet's rule was prior to China? A theocracy. A very corrupt theocracy which benefited the monks through the taxing of the common people. This lead to an increase in the number of slaves (to help pay off the tax debts). There was also huge numbers of torturing preformed by the government and, when the Chinese came into play, they were actually welcomed.

    Not to say this documentary is irrelevant by any means but there needs to be a recognition of both sides.

    1. citalotus8

      tell this to the thousands of innocent tibetans chinese have killed tell this to the peaceful buddhists that cant go home tell them their culture is better off being religiously suppressed. Maybe you work as a chinese propogandist? they are out there... . om mani padme hum

    2. Savannah Lennsbrooke

      I'm not a Chinese propagandist whatsoever. I'm just trying to point out that it isn't so simple. I don't believe Tibetans should be mistreated in anyway. What do you suggest the world does about Tibet and China? Specially Tibet after China is removed.

    3. ranii02

      i think its hard to have a recognition from both sides when the Chinese side refuses to do anything that requires them to explain themselves or talk to the media.

  3. seasidepress

    well done steve!

  4. Lilly Lillian Hertz Maahs

    i wish that i could stretch my hands over tibet and nepal and make it all bettter for them. they seem like so gentle of people!

    china has so much, why would they be fearful of these people?

  5. MegaEasternman

    It always saddens me to see those small nations being oppressed by bigger and unscrupulous imperialist-wanna-be nations.All those big countries consist of usually one big nation and many smaller,and there will be no world peace until every single one nation has it´s own state to be on it´s own rule.While I´m aware that Tibet wasn´t exactly a Shangri-la,it´s still no China´s or anyone else´s business to invade Tibet and to do all those gruesome crimes that Chinese have done to the Tibetans,and still are doing on Tibet.

  6. Arcot Murali

    in the East it is china and in the west it is America. It will all come to an end very soon.

  7. David Ewer

    Very moving and sad. Steve Chao did a great job here, documenting the hidden people of Mustang and their problems with China on three sides. China is arming and securitizing the Nepalese for its own ends; largely to keep up the pressure on occupied Tibet and to stop the exiles publicizing their issues to the world.
    The people are so poor yet open-faced and beautiful. But they are unlikely to remain in their present state for much longer.
    I also felt very sad for the 10-year old boy who has been proclaimed the next lama, because as he said, he'd rather be playing on his Play Station. Same too for the mother of the sick toddler. No hospital for her, even though the area raises millions of dollars from tourism.
    As always, ordinary people count for nothing, they are treated like farm animals. And we all know what happens to them...

  8. dmxi

    it's so remote that nike could only sell two pairs of sneakers!

    1. Irishkev

      Nike sneakers are probably made in sweatshops a lot closer to Tibet than they are to the US .

    2. dmxi

      i should've reckoned with such a reply>smirk<.