Fire under the Snow @Kriti Film Club

Solidarity Screening 

Makoto Sasa/ 75 min.| English
(followed by discussion with Tenzing Sonam and Ritu Sarin and some Tibetan friends in exile)

Date: 2nd February, 2013 (Saturday)
Time: 4:30 - 6:30 pm
Venue: S-35, Tara Apartments, Alaknanda, New Delhi, 110019

About the film
Palden Gyatso, a Buddhist monk since childhood, was arrested by the Chinese Communist Army in 1959. He spent the next 33 years in prison. This film reaches back to Palden's birth in 1933 and follows him through the Orwellian nightmare that began with the Chinese invasion. We cut back and forth between his past and present as an activist, living in exile. We explore the escalating cycle of interrogation and physical violation during his years in prison that ended decades later with Palden's escape from Tibet and a cathartic meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The film also investigates the basis of Palden's resilience. He claims that faith in Buddhism helped him survive and insists that he is not angry with the Chinese, but that these atrocities befell him due to "karma." While imprisoned, the mere existence of the Dalai Lama was a beacon of hope to Palden and fellow prisoners-of-conscience. They dreamed of being released from their torment and delivered into his open arms. Today, the Dalai Lama and his supporters advance the idea of a "mutually beneficial" autonomy within China, an idea generated from Buddhist philosophy. At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, we filmed the entirety of Palden's participation in a hunger strike. Using this highly publicized and symbolic event, an attempt is made to draw public attention to Beijing's hosting of the 2008 Olympics. Fire Under the Snow reveals the contours of an inspirational story: the survival of a mind and a soul under unthinkable duress.

About the Film maker
Makoto Sasa was born in 1973 in Tokyo. In her childhood, she was captivated by the images of Tibetan monks and the Himalayan mountains on TV, and Tibet has affected her ever since. She studied Media at Keio University in Japan, then moved to New York City in 1998. After receiving a M.A. in Media Studies from The New School University, she made several short documentaries, worked as an assistant editor for Going Under (2004), Love (2005), and The City (2007). She was the editor and associate producer for a feature documentary about a Japanese photographer, which won the Best Editing Award at the Honolulu International Film Festival, and the Audience Award at the Brooklyn International Film Festival. In 2005, the influence of Tibetan Buddhism and Palden Gyatso's story began to harmonize during her most difficult days in NYC. She then embarked on her own feature documentary, "Fire Under the Snow".

About the Kriti Film Club:
This is an educational and research oriented initiative of Kriti: a development research, praxis and communication team, screening documentaries since the year 2000.We offer an independently financed and informal space for screening documentary films on a whole range of social, development, human rights & environment issues. The whole idea of the KRITI Film Club is to place thought- provoking cinema in a discussion group that will help to deepen understanding on these issues amongst viewers and film makers. We also serve as a borrowing and distribution space for documentary films from India and abroad.

Open for all, confirmations appreciated. You are welcome to have some chai-shai at our ecoCafe @intervals, on contribution!

Phone: +91-11-26033088/ 26027845
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PS: Nearest Metro station is Govindpuri Metro station on Violet line. Tara Apartments is also connected well by bus. If driving by car or bike, parking is available outside the apartments.


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