Two new films: Old Dog and The Sun-Beaten Path

Review of film Old Dog, The Sun-Beaten Path by Pema Tseden , Sonthar Gyal

The two films tell stories of everyday existence which are distinctively Tibetan stories, but which at the same time address universal themes of struggle and redemption without sentimentality or romanticization.

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A Pale View of the Himalayas

Review of book Songs from a Distance by Bhuchung Sonam

This is perhaps what pushes writers like Sonam and Tsundue to their desks every morning to sing the songs of freedom on behalf of their silenced brethren behind the pale hills of the Himalayas. Their songs are sad and touching of course, but they are never depressing.

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Struggle, Struggle

Review of book Free Tibet by Pramod Wadnerkar

Wadnerkar should be given a round of applause for his keen observations and grasp of not only of the knotty Tibetan political issue involving various players, but also of the intricate methods that Beijing practices to banish Tibet and Tibetans into forgotten memories.

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Yak Horns and Yellow Stars

Review of book Like Gold that Fears No Fire: New Writing From Tibet by International Campaign for Tibet

A thoroughly inspiring compilation of current writing by Tibetans. It comes at the right time with the right message.

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Acme of Obscenity

Review of book The Making of Modern Tibet by Tom Grunfeld.

If the printed word could physically emit a stink, then this book would reek not only of dung and putrefaction but the charnel house as well. All the usual words of condemnation: scurrilous, disgusting, abominable, are inadequate to censure the man and his work.

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Discussing Tibet, Without BS

Review of book China’s Tibet? Autonomy or Assimilation by Warren W. Smith Jr.

Smith is clearly aware of the numerous mistakes and even cupidity of the Tibetans in their dealings with China, but correctly sees these as secondary, sometimes even irrelevant to the overpowering reality of China’s brutal occupation and relentless assimilation of Tibet.

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The Prisoner

Review of book A Tibetan Revolutionary by Melvyn Goldstein

What is clear is that Phunwang was the victim of a revolution betrayed. This excellent, detailed account of his life will help future generations to decide for themselves whether he was indeed a good guy or not.

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The Incredible Weariness of Hope

Review of book Tibet, Tibet: A Personal History of a Lost Land. by Patrick French

Tibet, Tibet. The title of Patrick French’s latest book intrigued me. Vaguely suggestive of a biblical lament, it also hinted at a kind of patient reproach, of the sort that Sir Isaac Newton is said to have dished out to his pet dog after it knocked over a candle and set fire to his research papers.

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Bread and Freedom

Review of book KORA by Tenzin Tsundue

Our final kora will be complete when we return to a ’free’ homeland after years of roaming in foreign jungles. But to fulfil this ultimate journey, we need writers, activists, statesmen, thinkers and most of all bread-and-freedom poets to paint our reality as it is — so that when the kora is complete we can plan our future ’in our own words, in our own silence, and in our own wisdom.’

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Conflicts of Duality: Call of an Exile Poet

Review of book Conflicts of Duality by Bhuchung Sonam

Tempting as it is to quote and discuss more lines from this book, I would prefer the readers make their own judgement. But the temptation itself speaks to how profound an experience the read would be. For Tibetan readers, it will be like venturing into the familiar terrain as one after another recognisable characters/images pop up every now and then.

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Green is In… Red is Out

Review of book Tibetan Medical Dietary Book (Vol. 1) by Dr. Yangbum Gyal

The essence of this book lies in its relevance in everyday life — making the ancient wisdom available to the modern world. Every housewife and househusband should have this book on their kitchen shelf so that they know exactly what balanced vegetable dishes to prepare for their loved ones.

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Mountain Patrol: Kekexili

Review of film Kekexili by Chuan Lu

While Kekexli: Mountain Patrol focuses on the attempts of a group of Tibetans to save the chiru — a quintessentially Tibetan animal — from being wiped out by indiscriminate hunting, the creature itself has been adopted by China as one of its mascots for the Beijing Olympics.

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Freedom Shower

Review of book Tomorrow & Other Poems by Lhasang Tsering

The issue of Tibet is a remnant of the Great Game. Only now the playing fields are a tiny town in northern India and the Great Hall of the People via Hong Kong.

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