« Just because you don’t hear about Tibet, doesn’t mean there aren’t problems in Tibet. We’re dying a slow death. »
(Penpa Tsering, president of the Tibetan government in exile)
Very popular in the 80s and 90s, the fight for Tibetan independence has disappeared from the global media landscape. Yet 6 million Tibetans are still living under the Chinese yoke since the country was invaded in 1951. More than 100,000 of them have managed to flee their nation to join the Dalai Lama in India, to live freely, make their voices heard and establish a democratic society.
At the foot of the Himalayas, this documentary takes the time to listen to those who carry this voice, this culture and this threatened identity. Through encounters with Dhondup (a former soldier), Dolma (a schoolgirl), Dawa (a refugee) and the president, Penpa Tsering, we discover those who keep the Tibetan soul alive, at a time when the struggle seems to be drawing to a close.
Their life stories, their hopes, their fears and their emotions sound like a cry of revolt in the night. Because the international community has stopped reacting, and China seems determined to stifle this non-violent Buddhist people, who have lived in the center of Asia for thousands of years. Even suicides by immolation by desperate Tibetans are now severely repressed by the authorities.
While following these men and women, the film looks at the roots of the conflict, Chinese strategy, the problems of Tibetans in exile and attempts to imagine the destiny of this nation, while questioning the attitude of the West. Is this people condemned to die a slow death? Is it still possible today to believe in « Free Tibet », when the succession of the 88-year-old Dalai Lama also appears to be under threat from China?