Unto a good land

The Tibetan Film Festival enlightens and entertains.

by Tom Horgen

The Tibetan Film Festival offers people a chance to explore a fascinating culture that is rarely mentioned in the mainstream United States, except for when the Beastie Boys or Richard Gere yell “Free Tibet!”

The Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota and Minnesota Film Arts have put together an impressive lineup of feature films and documentaries to give people a proper glimpse into the politics and culture of Tibet.

The fest will kick off Friday with two films and a gala reception in the Northrop lobby. “Dreaming of Tibet,” a documentary about Tibetan exiles, will make its area premiere that night.

Another notable film is “Himalaya,” an acclaimed movie about villagers who must travel through the mountains by yak to trade goods. It plays Saturday and Monday.

Filmmaker Roslyn Dauber will discuss her two films, “Tara’s Daughters” and “Menri Monastery,” after they show Saturday and Sunday.

Legendary director Werner Herzog’s “Wheel of Time,” a documentary about the Dalai Lama will play March 10 and 11. It will be only the second time the 2003 film has played in the United States.

The festival will also include a discussion about traditional Tibetan medicine after the Sunday screening of “The Spirit Doesn’t Come Anymore” and “Tantra Mantra,” two films on that topic.

Given that the Minnesota Tibetan community is the second largest in the United States, the festival should bring some welcomed insight into Tibet’s storied culture.