Tsunma, Tsunma: My Summer with the Female Monastics of the Himalaya

by Lifang LIN

Tsunma, an honorific term connoting “noble, delicate, and pure”, refers to the Tibetan Buddhist Nuns of the Himalayan Region who have been largely dismissed or forgotten by the traditions they follow and the societies they’ve served. Taiwanese photographer Lin Li-Fang undertook a solo journey up 4,270 meters into the Himalayan Plateau and lived for an entire summer with some of these nuns and recorded life in the unforgiving environment dubbed “The Roof of the World”. There, Li-fang captured a life devoted to hope and faith and a people possessing a unique kind of tolerance, humility, and perseverance.

This is a story of the Nuns of the Himalayas, of seeing one’s life through theirs, that is, a life lived in faith and with the spark of a summer eternal.


2017 Taiwan Women Makes Waves Film Festival- Merit Prize


Running Time: 70 mins
Year of Completion: 2017
Format: DCP
Color: Color
Director: Lifang LIN


Lifang LIN

LIN was born 1965 in Yunlin County of Taiwan. In 1989 she became a photojournalist for Commonwealth Magazine and was featured in four photography exhibits. She graduated from CTI College in Photography in Lyon, France in 1993. In 1999 she began traveling to India, documenting the life and work of Tibetan Buddhist Monks. In 2000, she was awarded Taiwan’s Golden Tripod Award for Individual Achievement in Magazine Photography. To date, she has completed the following films: Papa’s Youthful Dream, Buddha’s Sons, The Returners, and My Mother. Her films have been selected in film festivals all around the world, including France, Holland, and Japan.


Gavin LIN

Gavin LIN graduated from Pittsburg State University. He is good at characterizing the emotions of the characters and depicting delicate and moving stories.
In 2005, his short film created in the U.S., Liberty Avenue won the first prize and the best clip of the 28th Golden Harvest Award. In 2010, he released the first 35mm feature film In Case Of Love in Taiwan. In 2011, his second feature film Revenge of the Factory Woman was nominated by international film festivals. His recent film work Welcome To The Happy Days