‘Jinpa’-Tibet Filmed Through The Lens Of China’s Regime.

Tibet Movies Another Propganda Tool Exploited By China's Regime

Image: en.rfi.fr

There is no untainted cinematic insight into the suppression and abuses inside Tibet, no full exposure of the harrowing realities of forced sterilizations, the destruction of a nomadic culture through a policy of re-settlement, nor any detailed documentary recording the environmental pillage. Which is transforming once verdant pastures and forests into a lunar-like landscape, with convoys of trucks heading back to communist China with their booty of timber and minerals. The transformation of Tibetan towns into yet another Chinese concrete facsimile, complete with gaudy excess and a range of previously unknown erosive social problems, continues apace, un-documented.

Tibet Movies Another Propganda Tool Exploited By China's Regime

Image: labiennale

No genuine independent film-making is of course possible under such a repressive totalitarian regime, one desperate to convince the world that Tibet is undergoing positive change, thanks, we are asked to accept, to the seemingly compassionate rule of communist China. Unfortunately we’re denied any unbiased evidence which would reveal the progress claimed by the communist regime.

What we do have are seemingly unlimited amounts of Chinese films on Tibet, mostly designed for television broadcast, with sickly images of Tibetans dancing and singing in praise of yet another bumper-harvest, due no doubt to China’s enlightened agricultural policies. These are transparent disinformation with actors supposedly dressed in traditional Tibetan costumes, color coded to match the red and yellow branding of the communist Chinese flag! Barely able to move due to the overly abundant costume jewellery and obligatory fixed smile, set against images of modernity Chinese-style, like a crude layer of make-up they conceal a more disturbing reality.

Tibet Movies Another Propganda Tool Exploited By China's Regime

Image: cdn.sohucs

Over recent years however a subtler form of propaganda has emerged, more cinematic, carefully crafted to present some illusion of balance and independence, yet the underlying message remains the same, albeit diluted and sophisticated. A rising directorial star of this Chinese state approved cinematic style is Mr Pema Tseden, or as he is known by his friends within the Communist Party Of China, Wanma Caida. Being a loyal citizen of communist China he carries a Chinese name along with his Tibetan version.

Couple days back his film ‘Jinpa’ was awarded top prize at France’s Festival International des Cinémas d’Asiethe. Like his previous works this film is a slick production filmed inside Tibet. While aesthetically his films have charm and nuance they cynically misdirect the viewer away from the brutal realities of life for Tibetans under Chinese rule. The alluring personal narratives and stunning landscapes he plays around with are an approved sleight-of-hand which assiduously avoid the erosion and oppression of Tibetan culture.

Tibet Movies Another Propganda Tool Exploited By China's Regime

Image: cdn1.thr.com

It is a reality which the Director surely knows dare not speak its name, his films clearly meet the propaganda requirements imposed by the Chinese regime, in that context he is a willing and conscious collaborator. Perhaps that explains his insistence that: “…filmmakers are starting to more accurately capture the essence of life in Tibet. They are starting to let go of the old stereotypes.” SOURCE

Those who see his films at festivals or art-houses need to be mindful of this. Sure his work can be selectively interpreted as offering “.. an uncompromising view of difficulty in modern society. They’re not deliberately provocative, but they also don’t offer us comfortable resolutions.”. A view presented by one Robert Barnet of Columbia University, top grade for nuanced euphemism there!

However the ‘difficulties’ of forced-labor camps, torture, ethnic-‘cleansing’ and cultural erosion do not feature in the cinematic vision of Pema Tseden. While the ‘modern society’ (translating as occupied and oppressed Tibet and its culture) is never truly explored and it’s important to remind yourself that the work of Pema Tseden would not be made public without the authorization of the Chinese regime.

In consideration of that we need to question what is it about his films that receives such approval?

Tibet Sky: China’s Great Movie Lie!

We travel in hope that people are essentially good-hearted and value human rights and freedom, is such optimism misplaced when we hear of plans of internationally respected film festivals linked with screenings of China’s nauseating propaganda movie ‘Tibet Sky’?

Surely the world of cinema would not wish to endorse a movie that whitewashes, distorts and conceals China’s genocidal assault of Tibet and its people?

So festival organizers of Montreal and Salento in Italy we ask you to stand with Tibet’s people and not the tyranny which is China’s regime.

Tibet Sky-The Greatest Cinematic Lie Ever Told


Not since Leni Riefenstahl lovingly fashioned ‘Triumph Of The Will’, her propaganda celebration of Nazi-Germany https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triumph_of_the_Will or the film board of apartheid South Africa encouraged documentaries of the supposedly content black populations of the townships, has the world-of-film witnessed such a disturbing glorification and endorsement of tyranny.

Yet a new film from China ‘Tibet Sky’, reportedly to feature at the Salento International Film Festival in Italy this June and the Montreal International Film Festival during August, looks set to be inducted into that hall of cinematic infamy. Produced by Ren Zhonglun, the Shanghai Film Corporation and with the backing of the Chinese Regime, the movie takes disinformation on Tibet to even greater depths of duplicity, inaccuracy and fabrication. More information HERE


Although masked by a superficial narrative relating to the personal journeys of two Tibetan characters the objective of this master-class in propaganda is clear, to peddle the state approved mythology, as engineered by the Chinese authorities, that Tibet was liberated from feudal bondage and has since enjoyed a renaissance of unbound joy and prosperity. This obsequious propaganda, sanctioned with the approval of a totalitarian regime that inflicts such suffering upon the people of Tibet will surely cause great concern to all those who value human rights, liberty and justice.

Meanwhile is it too fanciful to hope that within the film world integrity and a commitment to human rights will prevail and that this nauseating whitewash of China’s genocidal assault upon Tibet will not be supported or promoted? Sure we know that Hollywood is seeking big dollars and expansion by various collaborations with China, money talks and usually says ‘screw principle’ however it is important to expose and challenge this latest effort by China’s Regime to conceal the harrowing reality of its invasion and illegal occupation of Tibet.

To that end we appeal to the Salento International Film Festival and the Montreal International Film Festival to express solidarity with the Tibetan people and principles of human rights and freedom and withdraw any plans to screen ‘Tibet Sky’.

Anyone wishing to support that petition is invited to do so via Twitter, Facebook or email

Serge Losique, President
Montreal International Film Festival

Email: info@ffm-montreal.org

Twitter: @FFMMontreal

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FFMMontreal

Luigi Campanile – Executive Director
Salento International Film Festival

Email: salento.cinema@thinkitalian.org


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Salento-International-FILM-Festival/120619264658485