What Remains of Us
Winter 2005 Edge series
Sunday, January 23, 2005 at 4:00pm
Sunday, January 23, 2005 at 7:00pm
Rated PG ·
English and Tibetan
“If the Tibetan nation dissolves forever, assimilated by a vastly greater economic and military power, what message are we, as human beings, passing on to future generations?” — François Prévost
What Remains of Us is a rare, compelling work capturing an important moment for Tibetans, whose lives were changed forever when, in 1950, Mao Tse-Tung’s army invaded and the Dalai Lama was forced to seek refuge in India. The spiritual leader has never returned to Tibet. Since 1950, the Tibetan people have had virtually no access to their beloved leader and, over half a century later, new generations are growing up far removed from his teachings. For the older generations this is a tragedy, but today’s Tibetan youth never knew another life and their feelings towards the Dalai Lama are far more ambivalent.
Deeply concerned about this situation, Kalsang Dolma, a Tibetan refugee living in Québec, crossed the Himalayas and went back to Tibet for the first time, smuggling a videotaped message from the Dalai Lama. While there, and on several subsequent visits, she recorded the reactions of the people of Lhasa as she showed them the videotape — reactions ranging from awe and wonder to anger and cynicism. More than a documentation of this new, indirect communication between Tibetans and their leader, the film presents a panoramic view of life in Lhasa today as well as the broader political landscape. Once again, we see that voices are going unheard, and pleas for help are not being addressed. What Remains of Us is a consciousness-raising experience and a gentle call for compassion in an age wrought with international conflict.