Who Will Be a Gurkha


Kesang Tseten
2012 | 75 minutes | Nepal
U.S. Premiere

Sam Manekshaw, former chief of staff of the Indian Army, once quipped: “If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha.” The prestigious, centuries-old Nepali mercenary unit features prominently in the imaginations of young Nepali boys, but the inner workings of the Gurkha tradition and its trials remain obscure in America. Enter Kesang Tseten, whose new film Who Will Be a Gurkha depicts the fiercely competitive training and recruitment of new cadets with lucidity and poetry. At the British Gurkha Camp in Pokhara, the struggle sets the stage for introspection, hot tempers, caste prejudices, and occasionally, rambunctious singing.

This screening will be followed by a Q&A with Ashok Gurung, senior director, India China Institute.

Co-presented by the Rubin Museum

What compelled you to see for yourself?
Making a documentary is a privilege, a chance to immerse myself in a subject which, different from reading about it, is to approach and experience the subject through people...and the shaping of the film completes this experience.
—Kesang Tseten | Director, Who Will Be a Gurkha