DEAN Film Series // 01.16.2015 //
Valley of the Heroes: dinner screening & discussion with Khashem Gyal
Over the past several decades, Tibetans living in Hualong have experienced rapid cultural shifts and accelerated language loss. Like many Tibetan communities, the loss has reached a crisis level as an elder generation is passing away, leaving behind fewer young Tibetans who can understand their own native language, and Chinese is now the dominant language of business and education.
Set amidst this escalating predicament, Khashem Gyal's Valley of the Heroes offers a rare and thought-provoking glimpse into a Tibetan society caught in the midst of a difficult and complex cultural transition. An inside account of language and cultural loss in Hualong County, a Tibetan & Muslim community in Amdo, north-eastern Tibet, the film spends time with an assortment of village residents and elders who reflect on the changes taking place in their community, and also documents a unique Tibetan language program that is attempting to address the situation.
After screening his documentary, the filmmaker will then engage in a Q&A and discussion with the attendees on issues of language culture and identity in an ever modernizing Tibetan plateau. This will be a unique experience for Duke students to engage with a Tibetan from within China on the ongoing situation there.