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Gyalyum Chemo: The Great Mother recounts the compelling life story of Dekyi Tsering, the mother of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The Tibetan people call her “Gyalyum Chemo” or “Great Mother.” During the course of her long and extraordinary life, she gave birth to sixteen children, seven who survived, three of whom were recognized as incarnate lamas, and one who has been recognized by millions around the globe as one of the world’s leading ambassadors for peace.
Dekyi Tsering’s story embodies the generosity and wisdom of the “Great Mother” archetype in action. By following the journey of her life and times, we can see the gifts that mothers can and do give when there is nothing left to give; how a mother’s love survives regardless of loss; and how simple gestures of encouragement and support can profoundly impact the course of one’s life. These are the qualities of motherhood that not only keep a family together, but have also helped to keep a nation together as it faced cultural genocide and exile. They are also the qualities that helped inspire the strength to preserve culture, family, and tradition while in exile.
The film weaves together a rich life history of anecdotal threads and personal reflections from her children, grandchildren, and friends who share the details of her long and full life. We are guided and inspired by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who speaks candidly of his admiration and respect for his mother and the profound impact she had on him.
Dr. Marion Woodman (Addiction to Perfection), Alice Walker (The Color Purple), and Angeles Arrien (The Second Half of Life) link this uniquely Tibetan story to a much broader perspective of motherhood and how the Great Mother lives within each of us.
Dekyi Tsering’s story, as seen through the larger lens of the universal Great Mother, skillfully conveys how the greater forces of love, generosity, and mercy are constantly called into being.
Part of a unique film trilogy known as Women of Tibet produced by Frame of Mind Films, Women of Tibet: Gyalyum Chemo – The Great Mother is an inspired hour-long journey into the spiritual force of motherhood. The storytellers provide a universal link to an ancient philosophy that continues to have a profound impact on today’s world.