if you were born in a cinema...
Grew up there...
and the only world that you have is the cinema...
And you have no
other means to tell yourself that this is not real...
There is no other
source to make you realize that this is a film...
You keep on thinking
that this is real life.
Then you have a hard
time walking out."
Please note that not all of these
films have an English soundtrack. Some are in Tibetan, others have French
dialogue. Most have subtitles. In general even if you have no knowledge
of these languages, this should not however impair your enjoyment of the
film to any great extent.
award-winning documentary which took ten years to make, Cry of the
Snowlion is an in-depth investigative report on the events in
Tibet from the 1950 Communist invasion through to the present
day. Interviews with eyewitnesses to the atrocities of the CCP, and
firsthand accounts from victims of imprisonment and torture back-up the
reporters' findings of malpractice and oppression.
With a style reminiscent of the BBC's 'Horizon' documentaries,
you'll find this relatively long report (90min) both engrossing and
thought-provoking. English language.
Included on the
DVD version is addtional footage shot while on-tour, giving exclusive
glimses of the life of ordinary people in Tibet. The spontaneity of
these images -including life and work in rural areas, and local
sporting events and festivals- are in marked contrast to the
choreographed, idealised images more often seen in CCP-approved
releases on Tibet. Plus, there are breathtaking views of the mountain
environment. The standard of photography alone makes it worth getting
hold of a copy. The DVD is currently only available as a Region
One release, and is none too easy to obtain outside of the USA- but
that may change soon.
One of the the most relevant films to
the plight of the Tibetan people, Windhorse tells the story of an aspiring
Tibetan pop singer who wins favor with the Chinese government of occupied
Tibet, but faces a crisis of conscience when her cousin, a Buddhist nun,
is imprisoned and tortured for her religious beliefs. The singer and her
brother join forces to secretly videotape the testimony of their cousin
and sneak it out of Tibet.
A Paul Wagner film.
Tibetan language, English subs.
Screened at the Aberdeen Belmont, 19 May 2003.
account of a leadership struggle within a remote Tibetan village, and the
progress of the ensuing salt-caravan across the Himalayas. Shot in a rather
stilted "Spaghetti-Western" style, with limited dialogue and exaggerated
action, it's nevertheless a gripping storyline.
The superb mountain photography alone
is enough to justify a viewing.
French language, English subs.
A humourous look at Buddhist monastery
life through the eyes of a young footie fanatic whose interests are more
in "the game" and satellite-TV than in the ancient wisdom of the lamas!
Entertaining, and directed in a much less-serious style than the other Tibetan
films. Filmed in the neighbouring himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, The Cup has established itself as a popular film in the West.
A chronicle of the journey into Tibet by
Austrian mountaneer Heinrich Harrer in the 1940's. Fleeing from WW2
Europe, Harrer finds himself scaling the Himalayas into the seldom-visited
land of Tibet. Thus, Harrer became one of the few Westerners to have any
firsthand experience of Tibetan lifestyle and culture before the Chinese
takeover. Harrer's experiences include establishing a close friendship
with the Dalai Lama and His court. His experiences give us an insight into
the lives of the people of this harsh and demanding terrain, and of a system
of government which had few parallels in the Western world- One which had
remained a stable, self-suficient and peaceful society for many centuries.
English. Based on the well-known book by the same
`Kundun' relates the life and times of
the Fourteenth Dalai Lama,from his birth in 1935, followed by his his being
officially recognised as the reincarnation of the previous Dalai Lama.
The film details the events of his life as the leader of his people, up
to the timeof the Chinese invasion and the subsequent flight across the
Himalayas to avoid capture by Chinese forces. A film with a rather lengthy
introduction, but includes some outstanding photography and many dramatic
An account of the making of "The Cup'
and an insight into the technical considerations of making films about
Tibet. This is under preparation, and is intended to appear in due course
as a film in its own right.