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When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun


USA Director: Dirk Simon Producers: Dirk Simon, Vanessa Philippe Screenwriters: Dirk Simon, Kristen Simon


Cinematographers: Jeff Pointer, Robert Muratore


Editors: Dave Krahling, Chad Herschberger


Cast: Richard Gere, the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Dr. Lobsang Sangay 2010/color, b&w/113 min.


DIRK SIMON


Born and raised in East Germany, Dirk Simon escaped west before the Berlin Wall came down. After living in Denver for many years, he now resides in Los Angeles. When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun is his second feature, following Between the Lines (SDFF29).


Filmography Between the Lines (2006)


It took German director Dirk Simon (Between the Lines, SDFF29) seven years to make When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun, which combines interviews, archival footage and inside videos with a stunning soundtrack by Philip Glass, Thom Yorke and Damien Rice to give viewers a close look at the complex issues surrounding the Tibetan freedom movement.


Though many Westerners know of the resistance as a cause célèbre, few grasp the reality of the Tibetan circumstance, both at home and in exile. For more than 50 years, the liberation process has been stalled; while the 14th Dalai Lama has consistently advocated nonviolence and his followers have complied, Simon raises questions regarding the reasons for Tibet’s lack of progress. Daring to ask whether the various factions of the liberation movement are working together or stuck in limbo, he furthers the discussion in search of a solution to its plight. As this multifaceted documentary reveals, the movement seems mired in disagreement—its cause divided and corrupted by routine and career management—while China continues to occupy the region.


Featuring the Dalai Lama himself along with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Richard Gere, prominent Chinese contemporary artists and key figures of the Tibetan exile, When the Dragon examines the emotional struggle of an oppressed people, in all its internal conflicts and contradictions, and considers the possibilities for future leadership and inspiration.


—REBECCA CARO Sponsored by


In cooperation with Naropa University, PeaceJam Foundation


153


DOCUMENTARY


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