Join our Mailing List

"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Mill Valley Film Festival: FIRE UNDER THE SNOW

September 29, 2008

G. Allen Johnson
San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, September 28, 2008

Most well-known documentaries about Tibet focus on the Dalai Lama. Since
the exiled ruler hasn't set foot in his homeland since the 1950s, there
is scant information about what's happening in Tibet. Makoto Sasa's
documentary about a monk imprisoned and tortured for 33 years and his
subsequent activism fills in some of those blanks. Palden Gyatso was
incarcerated in 1959, for the crime of peaceful demonstration. Starved,
tortured and sentenced to hard labor, he could have been freed
immediately if he had denounced the Dalai Lama and Buddhism. Since his
release, he has joined the Tibetan exiled community in Dharamsala,
India, and become an outspoken anti-Chinese activist. Although his
activities, such as a hunger strike at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics to
draw negative attention to Beijing's hosting of the 2008 Olympics, are
faithfully shown, the film's best moments are Sasa's re-creations of
Gyatso's imprisonment, and the monk's resilience. Now 75, he harbors no
ill-will toward his captors. That's not the Buddhist way.

12:15 p.m. next Sunday and 7 p.m. Oct. 9 at CineArts@Sequoia
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank