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Taos Mountain Film Festival: The Spine

October 14, 2008

Alex Crevar
Outside Blog
October 12, 2008

One realistic consequence of an intimate mountain film festival is
that it can genuinely take on a theme. Not just a loose thread but a
real structure to the overall proceedings. A spine if you will.

The spine at TMFF is Tibet. Nearly half of the the festival's films
are related to the struggle of Tibet's people and/or their spiritual leader.

The thoughts this may conjure are of hokey films, folks with
misplaced spiritual longings, and hackneyed hippie vibes ... man.
After all, most of us know this story, right? China invades Tibet,
the Dalai Lama leaves, global momentum builds to free the planet's
karmatic hub, Richard Gere gets involved, and just when you think the
world is starting to care, China becomes an economic power of note,
and well ... you know the rest.

But that's not this spine. When you host a discerning crowd of film
buffs passé won't do. Sure we are learning more about the expected --
Chinese tension in the region and the oppression and struggle it has
produced -- but, as importantly, we're learning about Tibet's culture
and the desire of Tibet's scatterees to remain connected to their
native music, customs, and traditions. One example of this theme is
the film Missing In Tibet, which as I'm writing is being announced as
the festivals' Human Rights award winner.

Also on today's docket were the films Dreaming of Tibet and Raid Into Tibet.

And here's what being on-site does for you: as I'm typing, in the
courthouse theater on the plaza in Taos, it was just announced that
Journey of a Red Fridge, about the life of a Nepalese porter, is the
Grand-Prize-winning film.

The other advantage of being here in-person: it's nearly time for
margaritas at tonight's after party.
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