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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Film Review: The Unwinking Gaze

June 3, 2008

Mike Mulvihill
The Times (UK)
May 31, 2008

Director: Joshua Dugdale, PG, 70min
On selected release

Thirty years ago, the Dalai Lama announced that he was giving up his
claim for Tibet's independence from China, something he has repeated
time and time again since. But China still refuses to believe him,
especially after the March riots, which the authorities in Beijing
believe he helped to organise. Such is the Chinese hostility to the
spiritual leader that it is an offence in Tibet to possess a photo of
the Dalai Lama.

For the past three years, Dugdale was given unprecedented access to
the Dalai Lama and his inner circle to learn the truth about their
views on the future of their homeland. From his home in exile in
Dharamsala in North India, through official visits to London and
Ottawa, the cameras follow the Dalai Lama and hear his private
thoughts and public speeches.

Dugdale does not use a voiceover, choosing instead to let the
audience hear from the Dalai Lama himself and make up their own minds
on his beliefs. Separatist or pacifist? Trouble-maker or peace-maker?
But after 70 minutes in the company of the giggling monk, you're
going to reach only one outcome.

It's an important and topical film that would work better on the
small screen, where it would gain the larger audience that it deserves.
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