I wanted to allow the Tibetan voices to be heard
Although the Tibetan villager Dhondub Wangchen was not able to visit schools, he counts today among the best known filmmakers of his country. He was born in 1974 in Eastern Tibet and belongs thus already to third generation confronted with Chinese rule. In 2008, when Beijing hosted the Olympic games, Wangchen felt a need to counter the prevailing Chinese propaganda. He bought a cheap amateur camera and set on a travel through Tibet. Together with his friends, he interviewed 120 Tibetans and collected 45 hours of film material. His interviewees speak about their own sufferings and those of their families, about a deep inner connection to the Dalai Lama and about their inability to comprehend why the Olympics were awarded to China. In March 2008, when the documenatry film under the title Leaving Fear Behind was shown to foreign journalists in Beijing, its author was alredy under arrest. He was tortured in detention and the attorney chosen by his family was not allowed to accept the case. Wangchen spent more than six years in Chinese prisons and labour camps, in adition he was confined to eighty-four days in a row in dark solitary confinement. Three years after his release he adventurously managed to flee from China through Vietnam. He lives in the USA. He has received the Václav Havel Award for Creative Dissent and the award granted by Commitee to Protect Journalists. He visited Prague in 2022 upon invitaion of two Czech organisations - Potala and Czechs Support Tibet.