HANNAH tells the story of an amazing and unique woman, a woman who had the strength to be an example at a time when women’s roles were changing.
It also documents a time like no other. Tibetan Buddhism only came west in the last fifty years, emerging from the idealism of the sixties, when people were exploring their minds and finding that drugs could not provide the answer. Hippies met with a handful of Tibetan refugees in India and realised that through ancient practices they had the methods to conquer the new frontiers they sought.
But Hannah and Ole were unique in the depth of their understanding and the ways that they were able to share it and inspire others. Following the instructions of their main teacher, the 16th Karmapa, they not only made the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism relevant for critical and independent Western minds, they also took Buddhism to places other teachers thought it was too dangerous to go.
In creating this film we wanted to make something that was like no other Buddhist documentary. We wanted a documentary that not only expressed the vibrancy and freedom of Hannah and Ole’s work but also the depth of what it means to live the Buddhist teachings in modern society.
We have travelled throughout India, Nepal, the Far East and Europe conducting interviews and filming reconstructions to create a living document of Hannah and Ole’s activity for over thirty-five years. But first and foremost we wanted to convey the power and inspiration of a woman who was unique in how she lived and what she achieved.
The result is a film that is vibrant and rich in both content and style, a testament to a wonderful woman and the life she dedicated to Buddhism.