Dharamshala: - Based in Dharamshala, India, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) said "it is pleased to announce the release of a new documentary movie titled A Sacrifice, shot and directed by Theo Hessing, a filmmaker based in London, UK."
During her press conference held in Dharamshala on Wednesday, Nov. 20, TCHRD director Tsering Tsomo said that "the 26-minute long film depicts the life of Lhamo Kyab, a former political prisoner and now a political activist in exile. After his brief stay in exile, Lhamo returned to Tibet in 2006 with a mission to free his homeland from the Chinese occupation."
"Lhamo was subsequently arrested, imprisoned and tortured for three years in the dreaded Chushur Prison located in the outskirts of Lhasa city.
Apart from documenting the ordeals of a Tibetan political prisoner, the film captures the harrowing tale of self-immolation protests in Tibet and its impact on the Tibetan struggle for freedom.
Since monk Tapey's self-immolation on 27 February 2009, 128 Tibetans have set themselves on fire, protesting Chinese government policies, and calling for Tibet's freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama.
On the occasion of the documentary's launch in India, Lhamo Kyab said:
"The focus of the film is not just my personal life story; it pays tribute to the incredible determination and courage of the Tibetan people who have been resisting Chinese repression for more than six decades."
According to the synopsis of the documentary, "Lhamo Kyab, a Tibetan nomad, escapes into exile in India, only to return secretly to Tibet on a symbolic journey to highlight his people's suffering. Meanwhile, 100 Tibetans set themselves on fire inside Tibet. 'A Sacrifice' considers the implications of the sacrifices being committed by Tibetans in the name of freedom."
TCHRD hopes that this film will create much needed awareness and support for Tibet's ongoing non-violent resistance against the Chinese policies that are geared towards what the exile Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama aptly refers to as 'Cultural Genocide.'
Theo Hessing made his first documentary while studying at the UK's National Film and Television School. 'The Cleaner' followed James Ayala, a Colombian night worker responsible for cleaning London's football stadiums while the city slept.
'A Sacrifice', Theo's second film, was shot in 2012 in the midst of one of India's severest monsoons. Now in London, he is interested in partnering with likeminded collaborators on social documentary and video journalism projects in the UK and further afield.