Olympics mean nothing to us, say Tibetans in film on Tibet

August 8th, 2008 - 8:43 pm ICT by IANS  


New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) The thrill of the Olympics has gripped the world and all eyes are on Beijing where the Games were ceremonially opened Friday. However, in the capital, a tiny group of voices from Tibet expressed its resentment towards the Games through a film. The film, shot by two Tibetans inside Tibet, took the viewers through the landscape of Tibet, talking to a range of people - the nomads, young and old, and the monks - all talking about how the Olympics means nothing to them.

“The right to host the Olympics is given to that country which respects freedom, peace and human rights - and China has definitely not lived up to its promise. We don’t know what freedom and peace mean,” said a young nomadic woman holding a baby, in the film “Leaving Fear Behind”.

“We have heard that a lot of countries are participating in the Games. It doesn’t mean anything to us for we are not allowed to see it. All that we are realizing is the escalating prices of commodities because of the Games that is affecting poor people like us,” said a Tibetan farmer.

The documentary film was shot over a period of four months and released this March.

“Soon after that, my husband, filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen and his helper were arrested by the Chinese authorities and we haven’t heard from him since then,” sobbed his wife, Lhamo Tso, who came to Delhi for the screening of the film.

“All that I want to tell the Chinese authorities is that please fulfil your promise of respect to freedom of speech and thought. My husband simply showed the condition as it existed in Tibet,” she added.

The people interviewed in the film also expressed their desire to meet Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

One scene in the film showed how an old couple kissed the ground and folded their hands as they watched the Dalai Lama on television.

“I am 60 and I don’t know if I will live long enough to see his Holiness the Dalai Lama. He is always in my prayers,” an old woman wept in the film.

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