When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun
This Dirk Simon-directed documentary offers a bleak, dark insight into the lives of the oppressed Tibet of today. An enthralling look into how far protesters can go, this film leaves the audience educated and aware of events that usually go uncovered in the West.
The cinematography is breath-taking – with beautiful, high definition shots of Tibet and grainy file footage from 1949, the viewer is shown the full scope of the 60-year terror. The film, which was released in 2010, took seven years to make, as shown in the in-depth analysis and interviews with The Dalai Lama (a huge coup for the director).
Simon does a good job at challenging the audience: what is it like to live under an oppressive force? With an often provocative look into the culture behind the oppression, the audience is allowed to see both sides to the conflict.
Although an interesting story, the film drags on for much longer than necessary due to the lengthy interviews and seemingly endless shots of conflict. The soundtrack for the film (composed by the famed Phillip Glass) is often grating to the ears and irrelevant to what is shown on the screen.
The casual moviegoer may find it tiring and often dull. However, overall, the film is highly satisfying to the inquisitive mind – the director has left no stone unturned in his quest to find the truth behind the violence.
When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun is released in select cinemas on 16th August 2013.
Watch the trailer for When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun here: