By Jigme Ugen
People queued outside to buy tickets (Photo/Jigme Ugen)
Saint Paul, May 21 - Tsultrim Dorjee, the co-director, spoke amorously of his first feature film ‘Phun Anu Thanu’ to a hall packed with over 400 enthusiastic audiences in the Minnesota community house. “Please forgive us if we’ve made mistakes – almost everyone associated to this film are newcomers,” he said modestly. Co-directed by Tashi Wangchuk, this two hours long film is probably the first Tibetan feature film made by an all-Tibetan crew.
Regarded by many as a crowd-pleaser, the story within story is of two naughty brothers Anu and Thanu and their unconditional love for two beautiful sisters. Much against the wishes of the girls’ father, the two brothers strive hard to win the hearts of his two daughters.
“In addition to making us laugh, this film made me think about our lives and the world around us in new ways. This film is truly educational and inspirational,” remarked Tenzin Kunsel, a high school student, “I highly recommend it to every Tibetan, young or old. Two thumbs up, way up.”
The reviews this film has been receiving are in itself startling: 'I didn't expect the film as it is. It is perfect.' – Prime Minister Samdong Rinpoche/ 'Excellent and very beautifully made.' - Chief Justice Namgyal Tsering.
‘Phun Anu Thanu’, house-full in Minnesota (Photo/Jigme Ugen)
Is “Phun Anu Thanu”, a Tibetan cult classic? Yes, is the answer as it has broken all standard conventions associated with the new wave of Tibetan films. With an emphasis on strong family values and a theme of love overcoming differences, this film also manages to touch on social, political, moral and health issues. It also throws light on the middle way stand of the Tibetan government-in-exile and its future.
The Tibetan Youth Congress in collaboration with Tibet Fund, New York, organized the screening of the film in Minnesota.
“We are thrilled with all the love and support we have received so far,” said Dorjee, “Minnesota has so much the feeling of a ‘sheechak’ (Tibetan settlement in India), I hope I can come back soon with our new film.”
The dynamic director-duo are set to start work on their next film “Richard Gere is My Hero”, the adventures of four Tibetan youth in Dharamsala determined win a one act play. The film, a romantic-comedy, is said to suitably explore the contemporary lifestyles of Tibetan youths and their frustrations as refugees. They are looking for producers.