Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion

Tonight, I decided to check out Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion, due to strong word of mouth and a very high rating on Netflix. Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion is a documentary about the occupation of Tibet by China, the effect of Chinese settlement on the Tibetan people, and the astonishingly powerful belief in the Tibetans in nonviolence in the face of oppression that has driven other peoples to violence.

The beautiful country and vibrant people are featured throughout, along with news clips, propaganda reels, and interviews of former political prisoners and exiled Tibetans. We are taken through a history of Tibet, focusing primarily on the mid to late twentieth century—a period during which the Chinese attacked, conquered, and occupied the country. In addition to the staggering oppression the Tibetans have suffered, the documentary acknowledges dark periods in Tibetan history, although not in great depth.

While some of the photography has the look of being shot with a camcorder, there are long scenes of astounding beauty, showing the natural scenery and the amazingly colorful people. The effects of the Chinese occupation on Buddhist temples and monasteries and, particularly, the capital city of Lhasa are starkly revealed. Granted, this is an extremely politically-charged documentary and it definitely will not appeal to everyone. But, I enjoyed it.

My grade: B+.


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