Tibet in Song
"The documentary's very existence is a miracle."—Variety
Tibet in Song is both a celebration of traditional Tibetan folk music and a harrowing journey into the past fifty years of cultural repression inside Chinese-controlled Tibet. Director Ngawang Choephel, a former Tibetan political prisoner, weaves a story of beauty, pain, brutality, and resilience, introducing Tibet to the world in a way never before seen on film.
The beauty of traditional Tibetan folk music is showcased through a variety of working songs, songs about family, and songs about the beauty of the land. These rarely seen performances are deftly juxtaposed against startling footage of the early days of the Chinese invasion and a concise explanation of the factors leading to the Dalai Lama's flight into exile in 1959. Ngawang Choephel sets the stage for a unique exploration of the Chinese impact on Tibetans inside Tibet.
What follows is a heartbreaking tale of cultural exploitation and resistance, which includes Ngawangs' own eventual imprisonment for recording the very songs at the center of the film. Tibet in Song provides raw and uncensored look at Tibet as it stands today, a country plagued by Chinese brutality yet willing to fight for the existence of its unique cultural heritage.
Tibet in Song contains original music composed by director Ngawang Choephel and an array of traditional folk songs sung by native Tibetans. (85 mins., HD video)