Friday, November 26, 2010

Tibet in Song

Ngawang Choephel's debute "Tibet in Song" documentary film deserves accolade from film critics and particularly from Tibetan and Tibetan supporters.  On Thanksgiving Day, my buddy and I went to watch the movie on its  final day screening in the Washington D.C . When we reached the cinema hall , only a scattered audience was sitting in the theater. My purpose for going to watch the movie is simply out of curiosity and also to lend my  support to the few  Tibetan artists and filmmakers, who is emerging as a star in a gloomy dark night, and illuminate the audience with its radiance.

I have a growing appreciation of art and film more now than i used to be. The immediate and long term influence by songs and music on people's spychic is unparralled .  Besides Tibetan film showing in U.S cinema hall is a rare feat.   Before in a different theater, I had the privilege of  watching "The Sun Behind The Cloud"by Tenzin Sonam couple again with my good my buddy , and we had intimate discussion as a fallout of watching the movie. Such documentary films are indeed a food for thought. The more the better.

Ngawang Choephel's release from Chinese prison after intense international campaign  was a source of joy for Tibetan and Tibetan supporters. However, Ngawang Choephel's unexpected mild approach toward Chinese authorities during interview with media and his low profile after release made many Tibetan anxious. There are  Tibetan who  complained if international effort to release this guy was a worthwhile, giving his sympathetic attitude toward the Chinese captivator?.  As myself, I have not heard anything positive about Ngawang after his release.   All this hue and cry for his release  from Tibetan supporters and friends alike and then soon after the release, it was like bursting a bubble.
While watching his documentary movie, a new realization dawned on me. Which is contrary to other people's perception of his reluctance of sharing  prison experience. Through Tibet in song ,Ngawang spoke out in loud and clear that he is one of the Tibetans, who has joined the struggle for our cause.   The documentary movie has elevated the status of Ngawang Choephel as a courageous artist and determined Tibetan, who has exposed the true colour of Chinese communist in Tibet from the eye of a musician.
The interview with selected Tibetan music masters and singers was elegantly  packaged and presented. His narration and those snippets of ordinary Tibetan singing their folklore in different set and context, brings out the unique feature of the film.  Ngawang has exhibited a great talent of communication skills in condensed and concise artistic ways.
The movie has perfect cinematic effect, vividly showcasing the beauty of the Tibetan folksong, and the beast of Chinese brutality through cultural domination. Ngawang  has invested a great deal of time and effort in this documentary, evident from the painstaking research .  His hardwork, and patience eventually paid off. It is a great achievement for Ngawang Chophel to be able to finally produce and present the movie to international audience. The documentary took a long time to come out, while words that he is working on a documentary passed out long before. Financially or technically, he might have faced difficulties, but what matter is not giving up.

I like Ngawang's display of dexterity in connecting the importance of music , particularly the  Tibetan folkmusic, through which the Tibetan identity, culture are passed down through generations.  He has  done a great job in relating music and how it is used for Chinese political propaganda. The documentary is a complete and superb work of art.

There is no doubt thousands of people who will watch or have watched this movie would be touched by this man's courage, patience and determination in bringing out the truth of what is happenig in Tibetan from his perspective.   My hats off to a promising young musician and I am sure Ngawang got  talent for making documentary. Will this be his last ducumentary or this is the beginning of his hand on ducumentary.

No comments: