Struggle for Tibet

Whenever we think of Tibet we tend to think of praying monks and bludgeoning police, of a conflict between brutal Chinese and peace-loving Tibetans. This film, however, shows that in Tibet’s recent history it has never been a question of a clash of cultures or simply of an ideological confrontation between Communism and Buddhism. Since the conquest of Tibet by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in October 1950 what’s at stake has been something else: the very real political, economic and strategic interests of those in power in Beijing. Until now, though, the outside world has heard hardly anything about them.

Today Tibet has become perhaps more important than ever for the ambitions of the Chinese leadership. China’s cities and industries need more and more electricity and water – and the plan is for both to be provided by gigantic hydraulic engineering projects in Tibet, the biggest and riskiest in the world. For the first time, the documentary shows principally Chinese people talking about the Tibetan conflict: writers, historians and scientists who can no longer tolerate the propaganda of the Beijing government and have set about discovering the truth for themselves. They create a picture of Tibet’s past and present, the like of which has never before been seen. This film shows the real agenda of the Chinese government on the roof of the world.

Written and directed by: Shi Ming, Thomas Weidenbach // Camera: Michael Kern // Sound: Armin Siegwarth // Film editor: Marc Schubert // Music: Thomas Wolter // Sound editor: Maximilian Dederichs // Sound mix: Florian Ebert // Production assistant: Katja Sträter // Production manager: Oliver Gontram // Executive producer: Thomas Weidenbach // Series editors: Christiane Hinz (WDR), Silvia Gutmann (NDR), Birgit Keller-Reddemann (WDR, Planet Schule)

– ‘Snow lion’ journalist award of the ‘International Campaign for Tibet’ in Germany, 2014
– Nomination for the German Human Rights Film Award 2014


  • YEAR 2013
  • LENGTH 52 min (english version)
  • DISTRIBUTION Global Screen