Hi guest, Register | Login | Contact Us
Welcome to Phayul.com - Our News Your Views
Sun 19, May 2019 02:39 PM (IST)
Search:     powered by Google
 MENU
Home
News
Photo News
Opinions
Statements &
Press Releases

Book Reviews
Movie Reviews
Interviews
Travels
Health
Obituaries
News Discussions
News Archives
Download photos from Tibet
 Latest Stories
His Holiness reiterates confidence to live past 110 years
Terror attacks possible on Buddha Purnima, warns Indian intelligence
Xi Jinping agreed to meet the Dalai Lama, reveals book by noted Indian journalist
32 US Members of Congress across party lines urge Trump to implement Tibet legislation
Ranking Tibetan monk denies molestation charges
Three journalists in Nepal face probe over news about the Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama’s 3-day teaching for Russian devotees begin
DRIFT presents "Vagina Monologues" for the first time in Dharamshala
Tibetan youth sent to prison for four and a half years for praying
China condemns Tibetan President’s visit to Lithuanian parliament
 Latest Photo News
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is being escorted to the teaching site at Tsuglakhang temple, May 13, 2019. Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
More than a thousand Tibetans, Uyghurs and supporters protest in Paris to denounce China's repression in Tibet. Xi Jinping will be on an official visit to France from Monday. Under a canopy of flags with snow lions, protesters marched from the Trocadero Human Rights Square to the Peace Wall at the other end of the Champ de Mars. 25 March 2019. Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal
His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrives at Theckchen Choeling temple on the second day of his teachings, McLeod Ganj, Feb. 20, 2019 Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
more photos »
Advertisement
TIBET IN SONG
Bostone Globe[Friday, November 12, 2010 12:35]
Directed by: Ngawang Choephel

At: Kendall Square

Running time: 86 minutes

Unrated (as PG-13: civic unrest, atrocity images)

In English, Tibetan, and Mandarin, with subtitles



By Ty Burr


David Huang/Guge Productions
David Huang/Guge Productions
‘Tibet in Song’’ offers blunt, heartbreaking proof that the best way to murder a country is to murder its culture, and the best way to murder its culture is to kill its music.

The musicologist Ngawang Choephel — born in Tibet, raised in India, now a resident of New York — traveled back to his birth country in 1995 to record the effects of a half century of Chinese occupation on the Tibetan folk arts. He was arrested as a spy and sentenced to 18 years in prison; an international protest freed him in 2002. Now he comes at the subject from another direction: an impassioned documentary polemic that functions as both a tour of a fading world of song and dance and a cry of rage at its snuffing out.

Choephel tells his story in the first person and applies it to his people as a whole. This isn’t a stretch; his path mirrors that of the Tibetan diaspora, as does his growing frustration. “Tibet in Song’’ interweaves the unconfiscated footage from the filmmaker’s 1995 trip, archival footage, and interviews with artists and refugees living in the exile city of Dharamsala, India, where the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts is the last official outpost of a once-vibrant folk tradition.

The movie serves as a thumbnail history of post-WWII Tibet — the 1950 invasion, the influx of Han Chinese, the uprisings of 1959, 1969, 1988, and 2008 — but the focus is on the PRC’s systematic crushing of the country’s culture, from decade-long bans on public song and dance to public loudspeakers blaring Communist marching songs and Chinese pop around the clock. What the authorities can’t squelch they co-opt: We see scenes from fake Tibetan folk operas and choir competitions, with traditional melodies bowdlerized by pop instrumentation and nationalistic lyrics. Local audiences watch these shams with dull, expressionless faces, prisoners in their own country.

Choephel understands that music can also function as resistance and that silence can be the most powerful protest of all: He interviews three young women repeatedly beaten in prison for refusing to sing the Chinese national anthem. They were the lucky ones: Five other prisoners died without giving in.

The title of “Tibet in Song’’ is inherently ironic: The music that reflects the modern state is a cacophony of cross-pollination from East and West. Pop star Yadong sings Tibetan pop with Chinese lyrics while a punk act rages in the native tongue with rock ’n’ roll chords. The old songs live on only in the mountain farm villages or in exile, among aging refugees and committed professional performers. In Lhasa, the nightclubs are filled with karaoke machines and syrupy Chinese love songs. Choephel films an ancient woman performing an ancient song in the streets until a policeman comes along. “Grandmother, don’t dance here,’’ he tells her, and she hobbles off into the past.

Ty Burr can be reached at tburr@globe.com
Print Send Bookmark and Share
  Readers' Comments »
A Must Watch at all cost! (bhoerangzen2011)
Your Comments

 More..
The Paradox of Samsara, Review of “Jigden: The Beginning of the End”
“The One Who Escaped” : Review of Pema Tseden's ‘Tharlo’
RESURRECTING A LOST HOMELAND - by J. Norbu
WHEN HARI GOT MARRIED- A film review
A Girl from China
-DECODING ‘DRAPCHI’- by Tenzin Tsundue
ARBITRAGE- A film review by Tashi Wangchuk
DRAPCHI - Exclusive Review by Utpal Borpujari
“Kyema” - A FILM REVIEW
Under the Grey Veil - The Sun-Beaten Path
Advertisement
Advertisement
Photo Galleries
Advertisement
Phayul.com does not endorse the advertisements placed on the site. It does not have any control over the google ads. Please send the URL of the ads if found objectionable to editor@phayul.com
Copyright © 2004-2019 Phayul.com   feedback | advertise | contact us
Powered by Lateng Online
Advertisement