Review of Tibet: In the Land of the Brave
Anyone who followed the Dalai Lama’s visit to Montreal this week – and for that matter, anyone interested in aboriginal affairs – will want to see this gentle and heartfelt doc by novice Quebec filmmaker Geneviève Brault.
It tells the story of the rapidly disappearing way of life of nomadic yak herders in the mountain plateaus of Tibet, told through the eyes of a Quebec doctoral student who has married into the culture and fears that its days under Chinese rule are numbered.
The student’s name is Marijo Demers, and at the start of the 96-minute film she travels with her husband, Gyamtso Sotse, and their Quebec-born daughter, Yangchen, 7, back to Sotse’s hometown. Demers is pregnant with the couple’s second child, and intends to have the baby there before returning to Canada.
Sotse hasn’t been back to his country in more than a dozen years. He wants his wife – whom he met in India before becoming a Canadian citizen and settling here – to meet the family he left behind. He wants their daughter to see the other half of her heritage. And he wants the birthplace stamped in his newborn’s passport to be Tibet.