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Harrison Ford Documentary, Dalai Lama Renaissance, Attacked by China's Communist Party

August 3, 2009

China's Communist Party attacks "Dalai Lama Renaissance"
(www.DalaiLamaFilm.com), a documentary film about the Dalai Lama
narrated by Harrison Ford, after the film premieres in Taiwan and
receives front page positive Taiwanese press. China's response likely an
attempt to counteract the Chinese language Taiwanese press which is
often read in China. Film to be released in China, under the radar of
the Chinese government.

Western Movies Build Grand and Perfect Image of Dalai Lama
in recent years, a wave of 'Dalai Lama fever' has appeared in the
Western movie industry? describing the Chinese government's peaceful
liberation of Tibet as 'cruel oppression,' and depicting the Dalai
Lama's life in India as difficult? Some movies even advocate the Dalai
Lama's concept of [Tibetan 'independence.'

many people were touched after watching the film.
the film rapidly grabs hold of you? an insightful documentary.

the Dalai Lama thinks that humanity is the most important thing in the
world and economic sanctions might affect many Chinese citizens, thus he
is hesitant whether such an approach is right.
It's interesting that the Chinese Communist Party refers to me as a
follower of the Dalai Lama

Although I respect the Dalai Lama as a man of peace, just as the Nobel
Peace Prize Committee did by awarding him the Nobel Peace prize, and as
do most governments around the world, I am not a Dalai Lama groupie.
When I began the film, I was not very familiar with the Dalai Lama's
ideas. I think that his actions, and the respect that he garners around
the world, speaks for itself.

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) July 29, 2009 -- The Chinese government often
has the clout and muscle to prevent Hollywood films from being released
in Asia, and can even discourage films from having an extended release
in the West if they are perceived to threaten Chinese policy.

Films starring such big name stars as Richard Gere and Sharon Stone were
boycotted by China after the actors expressed support for the Tibet
Independence Movement. After Disney released "Kundun," Martin Scorsese's
1997 feature film about the Dalai Lama, the studio incurred the wrath of
the Chinese government, and Disney films were banned for an indefinite
period of time.

Recently, after a theatrical documentary film about the Dalai Lama and
narrated by Harrison Ford entitled Dalai Lama Renaissance
(www.DalaiLamaFilm.com) was released in theaters in Taiwan this summer
and received front page positive press in the Chinese language Taiwanese
newspapers, the Chinese government took keen notice.

The People's Daily, a daily newspaper and media arm of the Central
Committee of the Communist Party of China, quickly and sharply
criticized "Dalai Lama Renaissance" in an article in its online edition.
The article, posted July 14th in the People's Daily Online entitled
"Western Movies Build Grand and Perfect Image of Dalai Lama," argues
that "in recent years, a wave of 'Dalai Lama fever' has appeared in the
Western movie industry? describing the Chinese government's peaceful
liberation of Tibet as 'cruel oppression,' and depicting the Dalai
Lama's life in India as difficult? Some movies even advocate the
Dalai Lama's concept of [Tibetan 'independence.'"

Although the title of the article refers to "Movies," the article
exclusively focuses on "Dalai Lama Renaissance." Referring to the film,
which has been distributed in cinemas around the world, the article
criticizes that "the part of the movie related to the peaceful
liberation of Tibet was filled with political bias, reflecting the
director's ignorance and misunderstanding of Tibet's history? The movie
transforms the Dalai Lama into an omniscient sage, reflecting a
'misunderstanding' of the Dalai Lama's image in the West... In fact,
what these movies depict is just the 'anesthesia' given by the Dalai
Lama to the West."
The fact that the Chinese Communist Party's main media organization has
chosen to criticize the film may be a defensive reaction to the very
positive press that Dalai Lama Renaissance received in the Chinese
language media in Taiwan, where it premiered in front of sold-out
audiences on June 1. And it may be an attempt to counteract any effect
on readers in mainland China, who often have access to Chinese language
news from Taiwan.

Taiwan's best-selling weekly newspaper, E Weekly, gave the film a rating
of 82, which is one of the highest ratings that a film has received in
the past year in Taiwan. According to its Taiwanese theatrical
distributor, Blockbuster of Taiwan (no relation to Blockbuster video in
the United States), E Weekly regularly gives films far lower ratings.
FTV, a television station in Taiwan, also reported that that the
premiere of the film in Taiwan was very successful, with not an empty
seat in the cinema, and that "many people were touched after watching
the film." The Taipei Times wrote that "the film rapidly grabs hold of
you? an insightful documentary."

Ironically, the Chinese Communist Party may feel most threatened by the
idea brought up in the film regarding economic sanctions against China
from the West. But despite this being a near unanimous suggestion by the
Westerners in a scene in "Dalai Lama Renaissance," the Dalai Lama
discouraged the proposal.

The Taiwanese newspaper The Liberty Times points out that, in the film,
"the Dalai Lama thinks that humanity is the most important thing in the
world and economic sanctions might affect many Chinese citizens, thus he
is hesitant whether such an approach is right."

The People's Daily also tries to discredit the producer-director of the
film, Khashyar Darvich. In its article, the newspaper claims that the
director is a "follower" of the Dalai Lama, and supports this assertion
by referring to an interview where Darvich mentioned that he produced
the film party for the opportunity to spend time with the exiled Tibetan
leader.

"It's interesting that the Chinese Communist Party refers to me as a
follower of the Dalai Lama," Darvich responded. "Although I respect the
Dalai Lama as a man of peace, just as the Nobel Peace Prize Committee
did by awarding him the Nobel Peace prize, and as do most governments
around the world, I am not a Dalai Lama groupie. When I began the film,
I was not very familiar with the Dalai Lama's ideas. I think that his
actions, and the respect that he garners around the world, speaks for
itself."

Despite the Chinese Communist Party's attempt to discredit the film,
Producer-Director Khashyar Darvich states that his production company,
Wakan Films, has just signed an agreement to release "Dalai Lama
Renaissance" unofficially into China itself, under the radar of the
Chinese Government.

"My hope," says Darvich, "is that the film will open a dialog between
the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama, and that the average Chinese
citizen will be able to see that the Dalai Lama is not such a bad guy
and is interested in a solution to the Tibet issue that serves the
highest good and benefits both the Chinese and Tibetans. I would be
happy to attend a screening of the film in China and conduct a Q&A with
Chinese audiences as a way to contribute to positive dialog."

For more information on "Dalai Lama Renaissance," go to
www.DalaiLamaFilm.com.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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