David Knights' Weblog

September 30, 2010

Movie Review: The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s struggle for freedom (2010)

Filed under: General,Politics — dknights @ 6:11 am
Tags: , , ,

The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s struggle for freedom is a documentary  film about the current situation in Tibet and its struggle for independence from China.  Specifically the film covers the Tibet situation and the uprisings and protests that occurred both inside and outside Tibet in 2008 in the run-up to the 2008 Bejing Olympics.

Since the filmmakers are Tibetan, the point of view of the film is rather obvious, with the Tibetans cast as the oppressed and occupied peoples and the Chinese as the evil occupiers.  Central to the story the filmmakers are telling is the Dali Lama, the political and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people.  The Dali Lama is generally treated very well in the film, though a major theme running thru the film is a subtle criticism that the Dali Lama lives comfortably in India and spends time jetting around the world, while the people of Tibet are oppressed and struggling under the Chinese regime. 

This criticism is somewhat muted in the film by the fact, that the Dali Lama is both a spiritual and a political figure and that his spiritual beliefs may prevent him from taking some steps that a pure political leader might encourage.  The filmmakers, while themselves not necessarily critical of the Dali Lama, certainly give voice to many in the Tibetan community who are.

The pacing of the film is somewhat slow by western standards.  The film felt every bit of its hour and ninteen mintue running time.  The movie does a good job of laying out the current situation in Tibet from the Tibetan point of view and woudl be a good primer for someone unfamiliar with the situation.  However, the films slow pace is likely to make it a bit ponderous for most western viewers.

Read the New York Times review here.

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