China pressure forced Tibetan films ouster from film fest
(ANI | August 19, 2004)
A film festival here has run into rough waters, with pro-Tibet
organisations crying foul over the pulling out of two Tibetan films due to
alleged Chinese pressure. The week-long "Third Eye" Asian Film Festival
kicks off Saturday.
Originally a package of Tibetan films was to be screened at the Festival.
"Kundun", "Seven Years in Tibet", "Little Buddha", "Himalaya" and "The
Cup" were part of the festival lineup. Martin Scorsese's "Kundun", a
biography of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama and Jean Jacuques
Annaud's "Seven Years In Tibet" are the two films that have been dropped
by the festival committee.
Pro-Tibetan organisations say that the anti-China content of the films
have lead to their ouster from the festival. "Because these two films
relate to the Dalai Lama, to the Chinese aggression, and to its continuing
occupation of Tibet, they (the Chinese) have objection to it. They put the
same kind of pressure at the Hong Kong film festival...all over the world.
They do not want the Dalai Lama to speak in any foreign university," said
Aspi B. Mistry, spokesperson, "Friends of Tibet" society.
Festival organisers, however, claim that the films in question were not
being screened at the festival since their DVD versions were readily
available in the market.
"Of course, there was resentment from China but China cannot dictate terms
to us. They wanted that we should not show (the films) because we were
focussing on China. We had to drop the films ultimately because in the
festival we cannot show films which are already in the market," said
Sudhir Nandgaonkar, secretary of the Third Eye Asian Film Festival.
Movie buffs, on the other hand, felt that withdrawing the films was a bad
move since everyone had a right to present his perspective. "That nation
(Tibet) also has a right to show what their perspective is in those
things. We are also in a democratic country and nobody can stop us from
doing those things," said Rekha Kale, a film enthusiast. (ANI)