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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

'Sun' sheds a lot of light on Tibetan conflict

April 4, 2010

March 31, 2010

No time to Dalai.
In English, Tibetan and Mandarin, with English subtitles.
Running time: 79 minutes. Not rated (mature themes).
At Film Forum, Houston Street west of Sixth Avenue.

'The Sun Behind the Clouds," a movie about the Dalai Lama which opens today
in New York, has China's Communist bosses seeing red.

China's leaders were so incensed by the film, screened at the Palm Springs
Film Festival in January, that they pulled a Chinese movie, "City of Life
and Death," from the event.

Now Film Forum has pulled a switch of its own, canceling a run of "City" and
showing "Sun" instead.

The documentary does a superlative job of examining the half-century dispute
over Chinese rule of mountainous Tibet.

At the center is the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, who went into
exile in India when the Communists took control of his nation in 1959 -- the
film's newsreels showing Chinese troops on horseback moving into Tibet are

The movie also looks at divisions among Tibetans over the 74-year-old holy
man's "middle way" plan -- Tibetans would give up calls for independence in
exchange for cultural and social autonomy for their land. Beijing has
rejected the idea.

Older Tibetans support the Dalai Lama while a younger generation wants
nothing less than full independence. Some complain that he didn't join a
monthslong protest march to Tibet through India.

The directors, Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, followed the Dalai Lama for a
year, allowing him to state his case at length. They also give vent to
exiles on both sides.

The well-made, richly photographed film -- the Tibetan landscape is
gorgeous -- doesn't solve what one talking head calls an "epic struggle,"
but it does put the issues into perspective.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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