Friday, September 19, 2008

Film School: Makoto Sasa on FIRE UNDER THE SNOW

Film School (KUCI: University of California-Irvine)
Hosts: Nathan Callahan and Mike Kaspar

An interview with MAKOTO SASA, the producer and director of FIRE UNDER THE SNOW - a look at the life of Tibetan monk Palden Gyatso, who spent 33 years in prison as his nation was seized by China. Palden Gyatso, a Buddhist monk since childhood, was arrested by the Chinese Communist Army in 1959. He was tortured, starved and sentenced to hard labor. He watched his nation and culture destroyed, his teachers, friends and family displaced, jailed or killed under Chinese occupation. Fire Under the Snow reaches back to Palden's birth in 1933 and follows him through the Orwellian nightmare that began with the Chinese invasion. The film investigates the basis of Palden's resilience. He claims that faith in Buddhism helped him survive the 33 years of his imprisonment. While imprisoned, the mere existence of the Dalai Lama was a beacon of hope to Palden and fellow prisoners-of-conscience. They dreamed of being released from their torment and delivered into his open arms. Today, the Dalai Lama and his supporters advance the idea of a "mutually beneficial" autonomy within China, an idea generated from Buddhist philosophy. Makoto Sasa has made several short documentaries, worked as assistant editor for the 35mm features Going Under (2004) starring Roger Rees, and LOVE (2005). Recently, she has been directing and editing several documentaries for SONY Japan's broadband streaming video website World Event Village.

To Listen to the Interview (MP3)

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