Friday, October 15, 2010

A great poem by Gary Margolis, one of the Middlebury College faculty after screening of Tibet in Song at Middlebury on Oct 9, 2010.

What Was Sung To Us

My fellow Cornwallians,

before I forget, can I ask you

to recall the songs

you heard your grandfathers

sing, under their breaths,

when they thought no one

was listening, when they were

sitting alone in the cabs

of their tractors? And the tunes

their wives, your grandmothers

sang, when they were putting up

apples, trying to put the breeze,

coming from the orchard,

lifting off the swamp, into a jar.

Can I ask you to remember

what a neighbor said near

the counter in Longey's store

that later turned into a new

hymn? Or had such a beat

you could feel it, even in your

clay-caked boots. I wouldn't

expect you to forget the tapping

a loose shutter makes, when it can't

forget the wind was made

in the nearby lake, in the leaves

the smoke sends into our ears,

we have to make something of,

even if it isn't quite the pulled bell

in the roof of the Congregational

Church. And who's to say who

didn't hear a cow bellowing in

the back field and found their own way to hum it in a low register,

to bring it to mind, even in the dead

of winter, when the power lines

are down, when they can't sing

like cicadas. Like you, my fellow

Cornwallians, who hold all your songs

in your dreams, who wake before

dawn to sing them back into the barn

and the fields the barn stores.

You, who took the story of Ngawang

Choepel to heart. May I remind you,

he was the Tibetan young man

who studied nearby for a year

at the college and returned to Tibet

to save, to record the songs and dances

of his ancestors, his countrymen and women.

Who was jailed for saving that living

music and sending it out into the world,

keeping it, too, in the mouths of his cellmates.

Who, like us, will know how to sing themselves

Awake. We, who feel how the sun is free

to raise the deer from their unforgettable,

leafy beds. Who sing back what we can't forget

what was sung to us.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy New Year!

We are sorry that we didn’t have anything on our blog because of the lack of staff and because of our continued work the film, but I have now decided to write something by myself, until the film gets distributed.

First all of I would like thank Sundance Institute and all the staff. Not only did Sundance Institute support the film financially, but the staff, especially Cara Mertes and Kristen Feeley gave the most critical creative advice on the structure of the film (sometimes with uncontrollable tears from Cara, from really believing so much in the story of Tibet in Song. ) We owe them more than just a verbal or written thank you. Geoff Gilmore, the former festival director of Sundance Film Festival, and all the program staff believed in the film unlike anyone else.

I have many other American friends and supporters to thank for believing in my effort to make this film. We also have many Tibetan friends, both from Tibet and outside Tibet, who have given moral support and constant and patient reassurance to the film. Among them is Yodon Thonden, who not only inspired and believed in me but also was one of first supporters who gave us financial support.

It's been about year now since we premiered the film at Sundance, and we have been screening the film to many film festivals where we have been able to reignite the awareness of Tibet. We will continue to push for the film to be seen by the widest audience possible. As you know the film was well received by hundreds and thousands of people, and we have received standing ovations in every festival that we screened at so far. One of the most rewarding moments for me was after one of the screenings when a few Tibetans said to me that my film was good. One of them said, “I am of one of the recent arrivals from Tibet. You have shown in the film exactly what has been happening in Tibet. That is exactly what Tibet is like right now. You have made a very good film.” My consistent goal ever since making this film since 1995 was to tell the truth about what Tibetans are experiencing in their daily lives inside Tibet since the Chinese arrived. I knew that there would be those living outside of Tibet who would be moved by the film, but I always wondered what the reaction would be from Tibetans inside Tibet. That is why what he and the other Tibetans who recently escaped from Tibet have said has especially touched my heart.

We didn’t have our website when we premiered our film at Sundance last year until April, and didn’t have anything on Facebook either. But now we have both, and I personally would like to thank all those who became fans of Tibet in Song on Facebook. We would like to request you to ask your friends to join Facebook as we will be screening the film in the festivals through out the year both here in the US and internationally. From now on I will write something on the blog as often as I can.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Welcome to the Tibet in Song blog!

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