Films: Fire Under the Snow

Purchase Online

  • Tuesday, November 18, 6:15 PM
    zzStarz FilmCenter


    That showtime has passed. Please try next available showtime.

  • Thursday, November 20, 9:00 PM
    zzStarz FilmCenter


    That showtime has passed. Please try next available showtime.

Fire Under the Snow

Fire Under the Snow

USA, 2008, 75 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: Japan
Genre/Subjects: Asian, Documentary, Religion
Program: Documentary Films
Language: English, Tibetan English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Makoto Sasa
Producer: Jim Browne, Link Maguire, Vladan Nikolic, Makoto Sasa
Editor: Milica Zec
Screenwriter: Makoto Sasa, Aaron Mendez
Cinematographer: Vladimir Subotic

Palden Gyatso was still a young man when the Chinese Communist Army invaded Tibet in 1959. A Buddhist monk who had entered the monastery at age ten, Palden watched in horror as his country became a battleground and his spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, was forced to flee to India. Thus, like many of his fellow initiates, Palden took to the streets to join the protests that were springing up all over Lhasa. It became the first step in a journey that would span decades and that continues even today. Arrested for demonstrating against the Chinese occupation, Palden spent thirty-three years in various prisons and labor camps, where he was brutally tortured, starved, and subjected to hard labor—even as his cultural identity was systematically dismantled and his friends, family, and teachers were either put to death or sent into exile. But through it all, his faith in the teachings of Buddhism and his dream of being reunited with His Holiness kept him going. When the Chinese finally released him from prison in 1992, Palden fled Tibet, walking for twenty days across the Himalayas to reach Dharamsala, India, the seat of the Dalai Lama’s government in exile.

But his story doesn’t end there. For the last sixteen years Palden, now in his seventies, has continued his struggle to call the world’s attention to the Chinese occupation of Tibet, most recently by staging a hunger strike at the 2006 Olympics in Turin to protest Beijing’s hosting of the 2008 games. In Fire Under the Snow, her first feature documentary, Tokyo-born filmmaker Makoto Sasa relates the extraordinary saga of a man who has sacrificed everything for his country and his faith—one that ultimately encapsulates the tragic history of Tibet.


Asian Art Coordinating Council

You might also enjoy...

  • Amal


    India , 2008 , 101 min. In this gently absorbing fable, the titular character, a Delhi auto-rickshaw driver, lets himself be cheated by an apparent vagrant—who is so moved by this act of compassion that he bequeaths his actually vast fortune to Amal, sparking a battle with his scheming children.... more
  • Cherry Blossoms

    Cherry Blossoms

    Germany , 2008 , 127 min. MUST END Thursday, February 19 35mm presentation - In this homage to Yasujiro Ozu’s classic Tokyo Story, German director Doris Dörrie (How to Cook Your Life, SDFF 30) dares tell a love story that rarely unfolds at the multiplex. The unofficial subtitle, Hanami—whi... more
  • Slumdog Millionaire

    Slumdog Millionaire

    Great Britain , 2008 , 120 min. Jamal, a teenager from the slums of Mumbai is suspected of cheating on an Indian game show, until he is given a chance to recount the events that taught him everything he knows.... more
  • Tokyo!


    France , 2008 , 90 min. This offbeat cinematic triptych captures myriad surreal goings-on against the backdrop of Tokyo. A recluse falls in love during an earthquake; a woman with no sense of purpose turns into a chair; and a red-haired sewer dweller startles passersby with random zany pranks.... more
        13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22

Browse Films