Documentary | 2006 | 52 mins | DVD | Closed Captioning
Co-Producer, Co-Director, Camera: William Bacon III
Co-Producer, Co-Director, Editor, Audio: Brad Swenson
Eleven years in the making, TIBET HOPE, featuring His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, chronicles the efforts of the Tibetan people to survive the invasion and occupation of their country by the Chinese government. In the words of His Holiness, “Some form of cultural genocide is taking place.” This documentary explores key Tibetan settlements in Kodari, Nepal; Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government in exile in India; and several other strongholds of Tibetan culture in India. Through interviews with monks and lay people, the continuous and systematic oppression of Tibetans and their culture is explored. A poignant interview with a former spiritual prisoner reveals the horrific torture inflicted by Chinese government agents on Buddhist monks.
This film was produced not only to document the dire situation of the Tibetan people, but also to encourage international support for a people striving for freedom, self-determination, and the preservation of their unique culture.
Music for the documentary was performed by Dhondup Namgyal Khorko a former envoy to Nepal for the Dalai Lama. Upon hearing of the project, Khorko asked to participate as a musician and flew to Alaska to record the soundtrack. Khorko is known for his performance on the Phillip Glass soundtrack of the Martin Scorsese film, Kundun.
TIBET HOPE is the second film about Tibet by Bacon and Swenson. Their first, Tibet - A Moment in Time, was released in 1997. A long-time friend of Bacon, former Alaska Lt. Governor Lowell Thomas, Jr., narrated the film. Lowell is the 2005 co-recipient of the “Light of Truth” Award presented by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In 1949, Lowell and his father were invited by the Dalai Lama to visit Tibet. They were only the seventh and eighth Americans to ever visit Tibet and the last westerners to visit prior to the Chinese invasion.