Summaries of the films : Free Spirit Film Festival 2009 — 10 to 12 December
The 10 Conditions of Love
Directed by Jeff Daniels
US/Australia 2009 | Documentary | 53 min | Colour | English
The 10 Conditions of Love is a love story — of a woman, a man, a family, a people and a homeland. It is the story of Rebiya Kadeer, China's nightmare — the woman it accuses of inciting terrorism within China's borders.
It is also the story of the "other Tibet", the country its Muslim people call East Turkistan, but which the China call "Xinjiang Province" — the other stain on China's moral character.
It is a big story: a story of the ruthless oppression of 20 million people; of the global politics of energy; of Super-power politicking over the "War on Terror"; and of the pain of a deeply loving family torn violently apart.
Exiled in the US, Rebiya Kadeer is fighting for the human rights of her people, the Uyghur (pron. wee-ger), China's oppressed Muslim minority. But Rebiya Kadeer's campaign condemns her sons to on-going solitary confinement in a Chinese prison. Having done six years solitary herself, she understands the appalling consequences for them of her actions — but she will not relent.
Twice nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, once — reputedly — the richest woman in China, Rebiya Kadeer is a remarkable woman who pays daily a terrible price for patriotism.
And it will never be over.
Directed by Karen McDiarmid
Tibet/India/Canada 2009 | Documentary | 34 min | Colour | English
Shining Spirit, filmed in Canada, India and Tibet, documents a recording project that brings together the family of Jamyang Yeshi, through music and the use of multi-tracking recording technology. With the help of Western friends, Jamyang, in exile in Canada, and his brother, Tsundue, in exile in the United States, join voices with the family they left behind in Tibet. For the first time in over a decade, they sing together once again. shining spirit is a testament to the power of music, the resilience of the Tibetan culture, and the enduring bond of a family separated by politics and geography.
A Shawl to die for
Directed by Rita Banerji
India 2009 | Documentary | 22 min | Colour | English
This film traces the ancient craft of Shahtoosh weaving in Kashmir, India, and its links to the decline of the endangered Tibetan antelope found in the Tibetan plateau.
It also explores the struggle of former Shahtoosh workers displaced by the ban in Shahtoosh production, and interventions brought about by the Shahtoosh Workers' Rehabilitation Project of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), supported by the British High Commission.
"Wildlife across India faces a number of threats. However, solutions to these threats can be found. The film A shawl to die for looks at balanced solutions to specific wildlife problems, in terms of wildlife conservation as well as livelihoods," said Rita Banerji of Dusty Foot Productions, who directed the film.
The film, comprising first-time footage of Shahtoosh production in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir, and hidden camera videos of the illegal trade in Tibet, was awarded for best cinematography at the prestigious CMS Vatavaran 2009 film awards — India's premier festival for Indian and international documentaries on environment and wildlife.
The award was shared between camerapersons Rita Banerji of Dusty Foot Productions and Aniruddha Mookerjee, Senior Director WTI, who shot the film.