Seven Years in Tibet

January 19, 2008

It’s a great movie: moving story (a true story), magnificent landscape, and good acting (maybe except for Brad Pitt’s English accent. Yes, he’s playing a German who is speaking English with German accent!).

Whenever I think of Dalai Lama, I think of my 6th grade history class when I asked my teacher what does he look like. What we were (and every kid in China is now) taught is basically “Dalai Lama is an unpatriotic bastard who tries to separate China.” Okay, that sounds evil enough. But how come we can find Hilter’s photo easily while no way we can know whether Dalai Lama has the similar facial hair? Seriously, I was only curious about his facial hair then.

Now, years later, I find the irony in the Harry Potter book (yes, you just never know that one day this wizard novel might come in handy). People never use the name “Voldemort”. Instead they use “You-know-who”. The reason is obvious: they are afraid. The reason is also obvious why there are laws banning publishing Dalai Lama’s photo, or bringing his photos into Tibet. If Dalai Lama was indeed “the evil slave owner in the old Tibet”, and the Chinese Army had done nothing but “liberating all the Tibetans from suffering”, then such laws would be nonsense: do you think it necessary or even sane to pass a law saying “no Jewish family should hang a portrait of Hitler on their wall”? Duh!

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