Weekend Warm-Up: Jagrlama

In the tiny village of Mulbekh, Ladakh, a young boy named Lobzang has a dream of becoming an ice hockey player.

Inspired by his idol, Czech legend Jaromir Jagr, whom the boy refers to as the Dalai Lama of hockey, Lobzang shapes a makeshift stick and sets out to develop the fitness, strength and skills of a hockey player. He demands to be called Jarda — Jagr’s nickname — and wears animal bristles on the back of his head to emulate “Jágrlama’s” mullet.

The film exposes the life of young children in poor Himalayan villages with limited access to technology and the outside world. With little to amuse them, they find inspiration in the simplest things, in this case a stick and a rock. For Lobzang, though, this is more than amusement. It is his passion, his driving ambition, and it is that passion that draws his siblings and cousins into his “team”.

Lobzang practices his skills. Photo: mountainfilm.org


Brontosaurus, the Czech non-profit organization that runs educational and development programs in the Himalaya, has launched a project to build a hockey rink in the village and enlist coaches to teach the children. Lobzang, however, sets his sights much higher.

Written and directed by Marek Partyš, the film has earned a number of prizes, including a gold from the 2018 Young Director Award.