Asian Film Festival 2010: Visualizing Tibet is taking place November 2–7, 2010. All of the movies are showing at the Spurlock Museum, with a special Thursday night film event taking place at the Art Theater.
All films are in Chinese or Tibetan, with English subtitles. The films’ topics span a wide range of types, and are free. What’s not to love?
Unmistaken Child begins the film festival, at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday night, and follows the four-year search for the reincarnation of Lama Konchog, a world-renowned Tibetan master who passed away in 2001 at age 84.
The special Thursday night film event, Kundun, directed by Martin Scorsese (heard of him?), chronicles the life of the fourteenth Dalai Lama, and takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the Art Theater. At 135 minutes, this epic film is called Kundun because it means “the Presence,” a term which Tibetans use to refer to the Dalai Lama.
Summer Pasture is a feature-length documentary that chronicles one summer with a young family of Tibetan nomads. This documentary shows the growing pressures from the outside world, such as strict government policies and the call of modern life, which bring many threats to their way of life.
Summer Pasture is showing Friday, Nov. 5, 7:00 p.m.
On the other side of the spectrum, Serfs (Nongnu) is a classic propaganda film from the 1960s. I can’t speak from personal experience, but if it’s anything like the Russian propaganda films I’ve seen, it will be pretty interesting. Serfs is a drama about the exploitation of a Tibetan serf and his liberation by the People’s Liberation Army.
Serfs (Nongnu) is showing Friday, Nov. 5, 9:15 p.m.
Set in 11th century Tibet, Milarepa presents the mythic story of the man who would become Tibet’s greatest yogi and saint. From the movie’s website
Nine hundred years after his death, the visionary, wizard, saint, and poet, Milarepa remains Tibet’s greatest mystic. Yet his youthful rage and black magic brought death and destruction upon his own family. This is his story- a tale of vendetta, demons, murder, and redemption.
Milarepa is showing:
Saturday, Nov. 6, 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 7, 3:15 p.m.
Tantric Yogi is a (relatively) short documentary, and follows a Yogi and his fellow villagers, who are attempting to reach a gathering of thousands of tantric practitioners in Eastern Tibet.
Tantric Yogi is showing Saturday, Nov. 6, 3:15 p.m.
The Search is the first ever film made in Tibet to be shot entirely with a Tibetan crew in the Tibetan language, with production support from renowned Chinese 5th Generation filmmaker Tian Zhuangzhuang.
The Search is showing:
Saturday, Nov. 6, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 7, 1:00 p.m.
Song of Tibet was filmed in Tibet with an all-Tibetan cast, and covers the last half of 20th century Tibetan history. According to an online source, it spans fifty years of love and hate in the lives of one beautiful Tibetan woman named Yixizhuoma, and three men who each represent authority, courage, and intelligence.
Song of Tibet is showing Saturday, Nov. 6, 9:20 p.m.
This series appears fairly informal, with first-come, first-served seating. You can check out show times and reviews all of the films on the website.