Film Festival Offerings
NEW YORK — OFFERINGS included in the Tibet Film Festival range from documentaries and fictional movies to works of video art. Among the selections are:* "Ocean of Wisdom." A concise overview of Tibetan history narrated by actor Peter Coyote, focusing on the life of the Dalai Lama and his activities since the Chinese occupation. * "The OSS Mission to Tibet." The record of a US group's journey to the Dalai Lama during World War II, to request a transportation route for military supplies, is the subject of this dated but fascinating 1943 documentary. * "Raid Into Tibet." A spontaneously filmed 1975 account of Tibetan guerrilla fighters, with US training via the Central Intelligence Agency, conducting a deadly raid from Nepal into their own country. * "The Religious Investiture of His Holiness the Dalai Lama." A 1964 documentary on proceedings in which the Tibetan leader acquired an advanced divinity degree from Buddhist masters, with footage shot in the late '50s shortly before the Dalai Lama's flight into exile. * "Shigatse: One Injection Asks for Another." An insightful study of Tibetan thought and culture, directed in 1989 by Swiss filmmaker Jurg Neuenschwander, who uses the competition between different medical systems - one imposed on Tibet by China, the other rooted in centuries of Tibetan tradition - as a metaphor for the challenges of daily life under occupation. * "Lung Ta: The Forgotten Tibet." Richard Gere narrates this disappointing French film on contemporary Tibet, directed by Marie Jaoul de Poncheville and Franz-Christoph Giercke, who juxtapose picturesque views with repetitive attacks on Chinese oppression. * "The Horse Thief." Fiction and ethnography mingle in this superbly filmed 1986 drama about a family struggling to survive in the Tibetan wilderness, directed by Tian Zhuangzhuang, one of the innovative Chinese filmmakers known as the Fifth Generation group. * "Lost Horizon." Ronald Colman discovers Tibet, eternal happiness, and the charms of Jane Wyatt in Frank Capra's dizzy but influential 1937 fantasy. Several festival films, including "Shigatse" and "Lung Ta," will travel around the US in a tour beginning in January. After a 10-day run at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, the program will move to the UC Theatre in Berkeley, Calif.; the Nuart in Los Angeles; the Neptune in Seattle; the Biograph in Washington, D.C.; and additional venues in Boston, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Madison, Wis.; Tucson, Ariz.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Columbus, Ohio; and more to be announced.