Film Review: Bringing Tibet Home

By Joy Chiang Ling

Since the Chinese occupation of Tibet started over fifty years ago, thousands of Tibetans have fled their homeland in order to escape persecution. Tenzing Rigdol, the son of a Tibetan refugee who fled to Nepal, embarks on an artistic journey with director Tenzin Tsetan Choklay in the documentary Bringing Tibet Home. After his father passes away from a terminal illness, Tenzing discovers that his – and many other Tibetans’ – last wish was to be buried in their native soil. Tenzing then smuggles 20,000 kilograms of Tibetan soil to nearby India, where hundreds of thousands of Tibetans have been exiled.

New York City-based artist Tenzing Rigdol has a peculiar eye for performance art. His daring project will likely inspire not only exiled Tibetans, but also other people whose ethnic groups have been unjustly persecuted. The film’s message is bolstered by sweeping shots of beautiful Tibetan and Nepalese landscapes that help connect viewers to the art project’s purpose. In addition, the artist’s attitude towards his people’s persecution is not angry or vengeful – instead, he shows his passion through a more nonviolent way of expression: art. Tenzing’s actions seem to embody Tibetan culture, which makes him an ideal subject for this documentary.

Though it may be considered slow to most viewers, Bringing Tibet Home will interest people interested in Tibetan culture, art and oppressed minority groups. It provides adequate insight into the Tibetan-Chinese conflict, and will hopefully gain an audience that will sympathize with the Tibetans’ cause.

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