When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun – DVD Review

When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun

I’ve moaned before about finding reviewing documentaries difficult. So let’s break this down and make things easy on myself.

What is the film about?
The film focusses on China’s occupation of Tibet, the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way Policy, and the Tibetan people’s conflict between wanting to follow their religious leaders and the desire to do all they can to free their homeland.

Did you actually get that from the film or is that from Google?
Admittedly some of that wasn’t completely apparent to me while I watched the film.

Is this because you were wrapping presents at the same time?
No comment.

Why did the film fail to completely hold your interest?
For me the film was far too long. The running time was nearing the two-hour mark and perhaps had it been shorter the message might have been clearer.

Do you think the film was balanced?
As balanced as the film can be. We did see Chinese citizens reactions to the Free Tibet protests but with the way media is managed in China you’re never sure if you can believe what you are seeing.

Did you learn something from the film?
Definitely! My knowledge of world events is poor at best and while I have heard the phrase “Free Tibet” many a time this is the first time I have properly understood just why Tibet needs freeing.

Did anyone at any point compare China to Nazi Germany?
Yes, yes they did.

And how did that make you feel?
A little uncomfortable if I’m honest. The suggestion that genocide was just round the corner seemed a little unfounded. But then I could be wrong.

Was there any thing jarring about the film?
The music! It was so incredibly overwrought and overpowering. Thankfully I don’t seem to be alone in this view. Philip Glass has done much better.

So in summary was the film successful?
It certainly educated me but at the same time bored and confused me. Definitely worth a watch if you are as ignorant about the issues at hand as I am but don’t let yourself get distracted.

How many stars would you give it?

I take it the film is out on DVD?
You know where to find it.