Lhasa Tibet in 1942 – AI Enhanced Time travel

Time travel back to the lost world of Lhasa Tibet in 1942, now brought to life by AI. Filmed during WW2, this AI enhanced clip is an eye opener.

AI Enhanced film of Old Tibet

Lhasa Tibet in 1942 – AI Enhanced Film

At the height of WW2 the Allies were desperate to secure a land route that would reconnect China and India. President Roosevelt dispatched two men to traverse the hidden kingdom of Tibet.

A young Dalai Lama in 1942
The Dalai Lama – filmed in 1942

They were Ilia Tolstoy, the grandson of Leo Tolstoy, and explorer and Captain Brooke Dolan . The traverse of Tibet required the permission of a seven year old Dalai Lama. They came bearing gifts and a letter from FDR.

Tibetan prostates his way to the Potala palace Tibet 1942
Pilgrim makes his way to the Potala palace in Lhasa 1942

The two explorers went beyond their authority in leading the Tibetan government to believe the United States had given international political recognition to Tibet.

Brooke Dolan filmed the entire journey, and the reels are now housed in the motion picture holdings of the National Archives and online at the Internet Archive.
Dolan sadly, was a war casualty, dying in China just three years later in 1945.

Tibetan woman filmed in 1942
Tibetan woman in traditional costume 1942

The Truth about Tibet

We mostly see members of the elite society of old Tibet in this film. The reality for many Tibetans was a life of poverty under a ruling theocracy. Whether this was a feudal system or a serfdom is hotly debated to this day.

The nobility who fled following the Communist incursion represented about 5% of the population, who had previously owned about 95% of the arable land. Most Tibetans, including the Dalai Lama agree that the system was far from perfect. However they argue that conditions were never as bad as the Communists depicted.
The debate is now highly politicized with both China and the West, in particular the USA, tending to air brush the past with vastly different narratives.

Tibetan woman filmed in Lhasa in 1942
Young Tibetan woman filmed in Lhasa in 1942

The film however does give us a glimpse of the country shortly before the seismic changes which overtook its amazing people.

Inside Tibet 1942 – The Full Film

You can watch the full original film – Inside Tibet, now in the public domain, on the Internet Archive.
National Archives and Records Administration – ARC Identifier 40103 / Local Identifier 226.5 – Inside Tibet.
Office of Strategic Services,United States Government.

Tibetan Lama blows his horn at Gyantse
Gyantse monastery Tibet

Books on Tibet

In popular western culture, many people relate Tibet to the mythical land of Shangri-la, from the James Hilton novel Lost Horizon. The personal accounts of Heinrich Harrer or Hugh E Richardson, who each spent many years in Tibet. Various books written by mountaineers such as Reinhold Messner and Marco Pallis.

Another curious story is that of a Devonshire engineer called Cyril Hoskins who claimed to be a Tibetan Lama called Lobsang Rampa. His book The Third Eye, however fictional it might be, is curiously moving and is still one of the best selling novels on Tibet.
Many Tibetan experts admit that it was Rampa who drew them towards Tibet, and even the Dalai Lama himself acknowledged Rampa’s role in drawing attention to the plight of his country.

Member of the Tibetan authorities filmed in 1942
Tibetan government official – filmed in 1942

That’s all ! © Glamourdaze

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