Tibetan Refugee (Video 2004) - Plot Summary Poster

(2004 Video)


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  • There are 130,000 Tibetan refugees throughout the world, and 80,000 of them live in India, according to the Information Secretary in Dharamsala. "Dharamsala is the seat of the Tibetan government in exile," explains a subtitle, "and its spiritual center as home to the Dalai Lama. It is the destination for most refugees who escape from their country." The documentary proceeds to show us interviews with children and adults who trekked four or five weeks through the Himalayan mountains to reach Dharamsala. Almost all the refugees are children or monks. Not all the refugees survive the journey. Many survive, but not intact: some lose limbs from frostbite. Yet the refugees took the terrible risk to escape the terrible oppression in Tibet. The citizens suffer torture and humiliation; they are unable to receive an education or worship as they please. What many of the interviewees say is that visitors to Tibet should see not just the state-sanctioned tourist sites, but the villages as well. There is the true Tibet, the Tibet that exists under the heel of the Chinese government.

  • Thousands of Tibetans who've escaped from Tibet pour into the refugee center in Dharamsala, India every year. Children whose parents have sent them to an uncertain future, and monks and nuns who were tortured or forced out of Tibet are featured in this documentary. The filmmaker asks the same three questions; Why did you leave Tibet? What was the journey like? What do you expect to find in India? Featured are officials from the Tibetan Govt. in Exile, Grammy Award-winner Yungchen Lhamo, Robert Thurman, The State Oracle of Tibet, and his holiness, the Dalai lama.

  • Tibetan refugees in Dharamsala, the vast majority of whom are children and monks, are the subject of interviews.


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