CLOSE on the face of a sleeping child: a boy, LHAMO
DHONDRUP, age two and one-half years. He is dreaming. He
is about to wake up.
Today, his life will change.
We stay on the boy's face until, slowly, his eyes open -
beautiful, dark, eyes.
INT. TIBETAN PEASANT HOME, KITCHEN DAWN (1937)
The MOTHER walks past the boy, her woolen skirt swaying in
the rosy light. A seven year-old brother - LOBSANG SAMTEN -
and a teenage sister - TSERING DOLMA - share Lhamo's kitchen
mattress. Lhamo looks at them, and then he turns to see the
heavy felt boots of his FATHER, as the man walks through the
room and out the door. Lhamo finds the kind face of his
MOTHER. She is looking at him.
EXT. COURTYARD DAWN
The boy walks across the stone courtyard as we hear the
sounds of this country morning: the snorting of horses,
clucking of hens, a command from the Father as the man feeds
The boy scratches, he pees. He sees his Mother on the roof.
She is a silhouette against the dawn, as she feeds cedar and
yak chips into the incense burner - sending white, curly
smoke up, to circle the prayer flag and its clusters of
We pull back as the spotted dog begins to bark.
Lhamo's house is the house in the vision.
INT. KITCHEN MORNING
It is a good day. There is cheese for breakfast.
Lhamo's Father sits on a cushion at the head of a low table.
Fresh bread appears, yogurt, roasted barley (tsampa).
Lhamo pushes at his Father.
No. This must stop.
I am the father. You sit there.
What is the harm?
He will grow up all wrong.
Only you can serve him,
only you can wash his bowl.
Too tidy, everything just so.
He must know his place.