Tenzin (Tsering Tashi Gyalthang) is a young musician and entrepreneur living in a fast-changing Nepal; he plans to open his own coffee shop, which he hopes will attract Western tourists. But even as he thinks he’s moving forward, he struggles with a disconnect from his culture and is destabilized by otherworldly visions of women who seem to follow him across Kathmandu. At a close friend’s behest, Tenzin confides in an eccentric monk (Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche), who interprets these hallucinations as death omens—that is, unless Tenzin commits to a journey of self-discovery and a reckoning with his spiritual skepticism.
Khyentse Norbu—whose Vara: A Blessing was awarded at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival—brings his experience as a Buddhist lama to bear on Looking for a Lady with Fangs and a Moustache. In this film, his fourth feature, he explores the tensions between capitalism and traditionalism that roil in a time when religion may be as commodified as a kitschy curio. But what emerges in Tenzin’s atmospheric music, and in the trancelike cinematography of Mark Lee Ping-bing (In the Mood for Love), is the need to cut through these distractions to truly reconnect with life’s fundamentals.—Miriam Garcia
Born in Bhutan, Khyentse Norbu has written and directed four award-winning feature films. Known in the Buddhist world as Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Norbu brings to his films a profound and subtle mastery and understanding of Buddhist philosophy and practice.