Tukdam: A Question of Life and Death
Genre: Creative Doc
Duration: 90 min, HD
This feature documentary looks at where we draw the line between life and death, through the focal point of a phenomenon that blurs this boundary to an unprecedented degree. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition called tukdam, meditators die in a consciously controlled manner in meditation. Though dead according to our biomedical and legal standards, they stay sitting upright in meditation; remarkably, their bodies remain fresh and lifelike, without any signs of decay for days, sometimes weeks after clinical death. At the heart of the film will be the intimate death stories of a few meditators and their near ones. The film will try to unravel the mystery of this paradoxical dead-yet-alive state by looking at these cases both from a traditional Tibetan and modern medical point of view, and broadens out into a study on the nature of life and death.