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Controversy Leads To Sold Out Tibetan Documentary Screenings

January 12, 2010

KPSP January 11, 2010

The Sun Behind The Clouds: Tibet's Struggle For Freedom

Controversy over a Tibetan documentary at the Palm Springs International
Film Festival contributed to sold out crowds over the weekend.

As a result of its popularity, film fest organizers will add an additional

The Sun Behind The Clouds: Tibet's Struggle For Freedom received rave
reviews from some moviegoers.

"It's such an important issue but (the controversy) brought it to the
forefront. I really think everybody needs to see this film," said Helene
Moss, who saw it Sunday.

The most recent controversy involved the Chinese government requesting to
pull the movie from the festival.

Karen Katz stood in line early Sunday to make sure she would have a seat for
the sold out screening.

"I don't think it shows China in a favorable position," Katz said after
seeing the film. "When they call Tibet feudal, I don't think they have a
right to say that."

The Chinese government contacted film fest organizers about a week ago and
asked them to remove the documentary from the lineup, saying it was
historically inaccurate.

The film touches on a decades-long conflict between China and Tibet. It
follows the Dalai Lama through the 2008 protests in Tibet and the breakdown
of talks with China.

When film fest organizers refused, the Chinese government forced the removal
of two other chinese films.

"It's ironic," said Darryl Macdonald, Festival Director. "The chinese wanted
to bury the film but what's happening is it's getting more (attention)
because of the approach they took."

"Because of all the controversy, I plan to check it out," said Debbie
Pierceal, a moviegoer.

The second screening is scheduled for Tuesday at four. It will be held at
Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs. Tickets are already on rush which means
seats are sold out but those who get in line early may be able to get
last-minute tickets. It's recommended those without tickets line up starting
at 2:00 or earlier.

So far, no word on the exact date for the third screening but it's expected
to be scheduled sometime this week.

Check back here for additional updates.
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