In the face of Chinese protests, documentary “When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun” unspooled Monday at the Reykjavik Film Festival.
Helmed by German-American Dirk Simon, the doc examines Tibet’s resistance to Chinese occupation, based on 800 hours of footage shot over seven years.
Last week, fest director Hronn Martinosdottir was summoned to China’s embassy in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, and told that the Chinese government disapproved of the doc and asked for it to be pulled from the fest.
When Martinosdottir declined, the Chinese took the matter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, implying that there would be economical and political consequences if the doc ran. The ministry refused to intervene.
The fest committee decided to show the film as originally scheduled. It unspooled Monday and will also run today, Wednesday and Friday.
Simon said in a statement that the Chinese protest was surprising as the film tries to show the views of both sides in the conflict.
The doc features thesp Richard Gere, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, prominent Chinese contemporary artists and all the key figures of the exiled Tibetan freedom movement.