Tricycle Film Club

Buddhist films and discussion for the
Tricycle Community

December Film Club: Sunrise/Sunset

Video Preview

To access this entire video and all other member-supported
content, join Tricycle as a Supporting or Sustaining Member

Welcome to the Tricycle Film Club.

The daily life of the Dalai Lama is brought home with remarkable intimacy in Sunrise/Sunset, the new movie at our film club this month. Providing total access to His Holiness' daily activities, the filmmakers follow a day in the life of the Dalai Lama from when he wakes up at 3 AM until his bedtime at dusk. Starting with his morning fitness routine and continuing on through the private audiences, press conferences, and blessings he imparts every day, the film is a comprehensive and compassionate document of his everyday habits. As the sun begins to set, and with his duties completed, the Dalai Lama sits down with the filmmakers for a wide ranging interview covering topics related to the essence of the universe, the gap between the rich and the poor, and the role an individual has to play in religion and contemporary society.


PLEASE NOTE: If you are having technical difficulties watching the film, please do not leave a comment below. Instead, call our support services at 1-800-873-9871 or email them at They will address your concerns promptly.

Share with a Friend

Email to a Friend

Already a member? Log in to share this content.

You must be a Tricycle Community member to use this feature.

1. Join as a Basic Member

Signing up to Tricycle newsletters will enroll you as a free Tricycle Basic Member.You can opt out of our emails at any time from your account screen.

2. Enter Your Message Details

Enter multiple email addresses on separate lines or separate them with commas.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
rebecca.rajsonsdesigns's picture

It was really soothing for my eyes, that's how I would like to describe this video. I didn't had the full access the video, but whatever I saw was worth my time. The Head Lama's life is inspirational for sure.

cedar567's picture

Thank you for this film. There is so much to learn from this amazing human being. I feel more compelled to try to make a difference in this world.

juliennevanloon's picture

Thank you. A wonderful film, beautifully made. An inspiring portrait of an astonishing human being.

greg33's picture

Thank you for sharing this video with us, it was a pleasure to watch.

rod's picture

The documentary was wonderfully insightful.
To those who judge, prefer or want...
It's not about style, technique, experience or perceived talent...relish in the effort!
Cherish it for what it is.

I never get tired of the DL's compassionate radiance and infectious laughing!

jboureston's picture

Seriously beautiful and thought provoking. No need for me to be critical, but just to appreciate the insights and open questions that were revealed in this film.Thank you for this gift.

compassionatechick's picture

Thank you. I enjoyed this very much. Very grateful to the Tricycle Film Club.

buddhajazz's picture

lovely, just of consciousness form was easy to practice being open and empty as I meditated to this simplicity of living I so yearn for...

Yogagirl1's picture

Very interesting to get to have a glimpse into the daily life of the Dalai Lama...and his laugh is so endearing. Made me smile :) ..The simply wisdom and explaination of some Buddhist concepts by His Holiness made me wish that I were able to see him live and in person teaching even if it DID last 5 hrs. Thank you for bringing his wisdom in such a format to those of us who will never get any closer in person than this film.

mpuenteduany's picture

Thank you for showing this film. The making it of it was a labor of love, and it paints an endearing and down-to-earth picture of a great and compassionate man.

lrochelle's picture

Thank you for this film. Everyone, of course, will have an opinion...I have a great feeling after viewing this and the compassion and love shown.

littlestbird's picture

I love the opening and closing scene of him walking to and from his residence in the minimal light of dawn and dusk. So simple yet very touching.

Thanks to tricycle for bringing this forward, I actually intend to purchase a copy so I can watch it again.

Mishka_Paw's picture

This film was great I thought. I really enjoyed it and the sped up traffic thing was really neat. Some people seem to be quite upest about this. As they obviously have ideas about what a good film should be, then hopefully they will put them to good use. Also I must, add the cinematography really was beautiful, I thought. Maybe it is true that some people have different oppions about what is beautiful and what is not. This film made me to cry a little and to laugh alot! Also to think about important matters. What an inspiration the Dalai Lama is! What an amazing and simply joyous being!

indigomoonbc's picture

Loved it! Thank you so much for bringing this films to us! I almost never watch a film twice but I think I will watch this one a few times....I so love to hear the Dalai Lama laugh! May all being have peace.

Kelizang's picture

What a magnificent experience! I, too, will view this film many times. There is too much to be remembered and digested in only one viewing!

lotusrainfive's picture

Thank you for showing this film. To all the critics who didn't like it remember the Buddha taught non judgment. we are all unique individuals with unique tastes, if you didn't like the flavor why would you complain about it?

Lisbeth's picture

Such an intimate view of His Holiness - a treasure. Thank you to the makers of this wonderful documentary; I thought it was outstanding.

worthmoremusic's picture

...... some feel this is an amateurish attempt to follow a day in the life of HH Dala Lama whereas I judge not. I still I appreciate the love and time it took to film and ultimately share it with others....AND as always I so appreciate Tricycle for not only all the films and online retreats but for expresing and sharing the dharma..... intimacy with all things _/l\_

myers_lloyd's picture

Where is the tiger?

Dot Luce's picture

Thank you for this gift; unlike others, the fact that it was amateurish and Russian-made, made it quite dear to me. Hearing my first language spoken, with HH words about birth control, geographic sharing, really resonated. I've always wondered why the US couldn't people Montana, for example, with emigrants. It seems so logical. Training them to do useful work , giving people opportunity, in this disgustingly selfish (gliding over the starving untouchables, for example) country. Our present economic mess, with the repubs refusing to charge the 1% more in taxes, while familes are out of work, hungry and despairing, is shameful.
It is hard to feel compassion for the 1%, although I know I should.

jackelope65's picture

Thank you for bringing His Holiness into this day for me. His secular and religious contemplations were very interesting as well as his routine, including the use of a treadmill. I think this sends a good message: meditation and work are important but we must take care of our own health, not to avoid death, but to prepare ourselves most to help others. I continue to be impressed by the power of his presence and the effect on others: in this film the thoughts about rich and poor as well as the unification of countries to avoid struggles and share wealth, especially people and land. The Russian filmmaker remains skeptical but honest about his own experience and personal message.

Kevin K.'s picture

It's always a blessing to see His Holiness but I think this is a a pretty awful film (and not the first one either, as "10 Questions for the Dalai Lama" is even worse!). It would've been nice if Tricyle had seen fit to point out that this is an amateur Russian documentary about H.H. "Lost in Translation" would have been an excellent alternative title.

While H.H. is said to rise at 3 a.m., we miss his morning meditation and join him on the treadmill as the bell on the clock in the room tolls 5, and from then on the film is a meandering montage of headache-inducing sped-up traffic and other artyness and unfocused musings by the director. Apparently these folks were given access for 24 hours and had neither a plan to take advantage of such precious access nor the skills to do so.

Despite all this given that this IS the Dalai Lama after all there are some gems, though they have nothing to do with the filmmaking. We learn that not only does H.H. do his personal practice for about 5 hours everyday before spending every remaining minute serving others, but also that he spends 5 months each year in retreat! What a wonderful teaching in balancing priorities and putting first things first.

David Gould's picture

I would have preferred to have time with His Holiness meditating, saying prayers and doing his puja and to see each hour of His Holiness's day. As it is the film was disjointed and got a little lost. Nonetheless to have what we say of the day of His Holiness was terrific and inspiring to see.

pdianne's picture

Was going to post something quite similar but you did it for me ;).

Sarah11.11's picture

I really enjoyed glimpsing into the Dalai Lama's daily life. For many years he has been an idol to me..and I admit that in trying moments I usually ask myself, what would HH do? Sometimes too when I struggle with meditations on compassion, considering that a horrible sociopath might have been my mother in a past life for instance, I remember how he looks at people with such intense and genuine love, and I get it. His books introduced me to Buddhism, and years later he is still my favorite teacher. Even my husband, who is religion intolerant to an extreme, appreciates his teachings on secular ethics. I've read and listened to many points about the true nature of self and the interconnectedness of all of reality... but when he asks the simple question, "Where is the tiger?" and then laughs so infectiously the way that he does...enlightenment becomes very real to me.