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Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion

4.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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(Dec 14, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Ten years in the making, this award-winning documentary was filmed during a remarkable nine journeys throughout Tibet, India and Nepal. CRY OF THE SNOW LION brings audiences to the long-forbidden "rooftop of the world" with an unprecedented richness of imagery… from rarely-seen rituals in remote monasteries, to horse races with Khamba warriors; from brothels and slums in the holy city of Lhasa, to the magnificent Himalayan peaks still traveled by nomadic yak caravans. The dark secrets of Tibet’s recent past are powerfully chronicled through riveting personal stories and interviews, and a collection of undercover and archival images never before assembled in one film. A definitive exploration of a legendary subject, TIBET: CRY OF THE SNOW LION is an epic story of courage and compassion.

Special Features

  • Interviews with the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman
  • Journey to Lhasa
  • Khamba Horse Races
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Music Video
  • Sakya Masked Dances

Product Details

  • Actors: Edward Edwards, Shirley Knight Ed Harris
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: New Yorker
  • DVD Release Date: December 14, 2004
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00064MWJW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,344 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 15, 2005
Format: DVD
Edit of 20 Dec 07 to add other significant DVDs.

Halfway through this probing, sensitive, sharp, spiritual documentary film I thought to myself, "wow, this is what CIA covert propaganda *should* be able to produce" and then instantly corrected myself: David Ignatius of the Washington Post has it right: overt action is vastly superior to covert action, and in this instance, a loose coalition of kindred spirits have come together in time and focus to produce something remarkable, something much more threatening to Chinese behavior in Tibet than any military armada: a collage of truth-telling.

This is a world-class documentary, full of vivid images, well-blended historical and modern footage, and extremely good production planning and voice over editing. Early on I was struck by the similarity between the Tibetans, the Native Americans, and the Guatemalan Indians, all of whom share some basic moral precepts.

The portrait painted of Tibet as a nation committed to the concept of spiritual education, is a compelling one. One analogy offered up by one of those interviewed I found especially compelling: Tibet was spending 85% of its budget on spiritual development, with 10% of its population in monasteries--this being the equivalent of America redirecting its entire defense budget toward education.

The documentary will clearly infuriate the Chinese, for it carefully itemizes the many ways in which Tibet is uniquely Tibetan, including in its language, greatly distant from Chinese. Shown are Chinese torture instruments, including electrical cattle prods used in the vaginas of nuns and the mouths and throats of monks. The photographs are graphic.
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Format: DVD
I knew some of Tibet's history and social ills before picking up this DVD at my local video store. So many actors and artists have made the Tibetans' persecutions known to us that it'd be almost impossible to think most Americans don't have a general understanding of their oppression.

But what most of us probably weren't aware of, is how involved the U.S. was (is) in the demise of the Tibetan way of life. Oh sure! Blame it on the West again! But seriously, think about the following:

In the 1970's, Nixon sent Kissinger on a secret mission to help form guerrilla fighters in Tibet, so that they could fight off the Chinese troops. Then, when Nixon later wanted to open up China for trade, the first thing the U.S. did was break off all connections with those same guerillas, hanging them out to dry.

Move to current day, and we have the U.S. and China in major trade relations. More than $85 billion comes into the U.S. from China. How can Tibet compete against the Almighty Dollar? The fact is, they can't.

Even though the Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize for his decision to fight the Chinese government using non-violent acts, even though Tibet is now dedicated to peace and its "true" inhabitants don't lift a finger when troops storm into their monestaries, even though their way of life and their heritage is being picked apart bit by bit, America (and the UN, too) turns a blind eye. $85 million; how do you compete with that?

The final message of the film is uplifting. The narrators mention that Apartheid ended in South Africa and the Berlin Wall fell (even though everyone thought neither of these two things possible). Can Tibet, likewise, be salvaged?

Pray to Buddha that they can.

Okay, enough of the political commentary.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Cry of The Snow Lion" is a beautiful documentary of the plight of the people of Tibet before and after the Communist China invasion. It reveals that once again our government's foreign policy is driven by materialism and greed instead of democratic principle and loyalty. Highlights of the film are news clips and interviews with primary sources. This is a well produced "docudrama".

Robert D. Askren,Ph.D.
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Few people even know where Tibet is and certainly do not know of the deep and long lasting world tragedy that happened and is happening there. Thus, any exposure of any bits of truth about Tibet since the 1950s is vitally important. China's military over ran Tibet then, occupied it then and now, and has a record of brutality there equal any to Khan. The magnitude of crimes against humanity there is so huge that, to ignore it all, is to condemn the world to charges of cooperation.

However, Tibetan Buddhism, which is being crushed in the most horrible ways possible by the Red Chinese, and this sacred place of its residence was and is despoiled and desecrated near to extinction. By Tibetan Buddhist beliefs, such horror will result in centuries of horrid karma coming to Red China. Some see the choking air of their cities as an early sign. When the sacred is beaten out of existence, the whole world loses.

The occupation by Red China has had the result of chasing Buddhism into the larger world. That can be only to the good for all because Tibetan Buddhism is the conscience of mankind. Any work that spreads this word is valuable.
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