films that make a difference
As Tibetan protesters take to the streets in the biggest and most bloody challenge to Chinese rule in nearly 20 years, Dispatches reports on the hidden reality of life under Chinese occupation after spending three months undercover, deep inside the region.
Dozens are feared dead after the recent clashes and crackdown by Chinese troops but with reporting so rigidly controlled from the region little is known of living conditions inside Tibet.
To make this film, Tibetan exile Tash Despa returns to the homeland he risked his life to escape eleven years ago to carry out secret filming with award-winning, Bafta-nominated director Jezza Neumann (Dispatches Special: China’s Stolen Children). Risking imprisonment and deportation, he uncovers evidence of the ‘cultural genocide’ described by the Dalai Lama. He finds the nomadic way of life being forcefully wiped out as native Tibetans are stripped of their land and livestock and are being resettled in concrete camps.
Undercover in Tibet reveals the regime of terror which dominates daily life and makes freedom of expression an impossibility. Tash meets victims of arbitrary arrests, detention, torture and ‘disappearances’ and uncovers evidence of enforced sterilisations on ethnic Tibetan women. He sees for himself the impact of the enormous military and police presence in the region, the hunger and hardship being endured by many Tibetans and hears warnings of the uprising taking place across the provinces now.
Undercover in Tibet wins the 2008 Royal Television Society Award
The Jury said "A truly great current affairs film that sheds light on the future. Filmed just months before Tibet erupted into rioting, this extraordinarily brave programme, made at great personal risk and with much hardship, illuminated the tensions and troubles of the country, with powerful testimony and pictures.”
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