Friday, October 29, 2010

Tibet In Song

Still in the wake of the Dalai Lama, comes this amazing documentary about the slow and systematic demise of Tibetan culture by the Chinese government. Filmmaker Ngawang Choephel returned to Tibet to record the last folk songs of his people before they were all substituted for Chinese communist songs. All day long, loudspeakers blast obnoxious communist propaganda. The Tibetans, who used to have a song for pretty much every activity of the day, from milking cows to roofing -- simple melodies with haiku-like lyrics -- are caught between the death of their culture and oppressive tyranny and torture to adhere to the Chinese regime. Choephel himself spent 5 years in prison for recording these images, and many of his tapes were apprehended. Still, with what he had left, he was able to craft an immensely powerful testament to the genocide of a culture.

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