whenthedragon | © Free Motion Films
Documentary | 2009 | USA

Main data

DirectorDirk Simon
Written byDirk Simon (head writer), Kristen Simon (co-writer)
ProductionFree Motion Films [us]

Brief synopsis

Forty years after the beginning of the Chinese invasion, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama compromised in the late 80's on the idea of a free Tibet and offered China the option of a genuine autonomy instead. This adjustment in approach was the beginning of a conflict that is tearing apart Tibetans inside and outside Tibet. The Dalai Lama is without question the leader of all Tibetans. However, they also desire freedom and independence more than anything else. Seven years in the making, When The Dragon Swallowed The Sun shows an unprecedented inside perspective on the Tibetan community in exile, its young generation and their struggle to free their homeland Tibet. This film reveals an internal conflict that has been dividing Tibetans and hindering their movement for decades. Also for the first time, this film introduces the only officially recognized descendant of the Great Religious Kings of Tibet. Continuing a 1400 year old lineage, 18 year old Lhagyari Trichen Namgyal Wangchuk was crowned by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in June 2004 in Dharamsala, India. With exclusive footage from the coronation, intimate interviews and access to the family's archive material, When The Dragon Swallowed The Sun explores the struggle of a young Tibetan King alongside the peers of his generation. It reveals for the first time how they try to reflect on their history while they redefine their identities in this new world of shifting politics and changing religious devotion.

Crew

DepartmentActivityNameComment
Camera Departmentdirector of photographyJeff Pointer
Camera Departmentdirector of photographyRobert Muratore
Camera Department2nd unit dopAlexandre O. Philippe
Camera Department2nd unit dopDirk Simon
Camera Department2nd unit dopDominic Howes
Camera Department2nd unit dop Oliver Karsitz
Director's DepartmentdirectorDirk Simon
Director's Department2nd unit directorAlexandre O. Philippe
EditingeditorDave Krahling
Editingassistant editorKim Shively

Production companies

CompanyComment
Free Motion Films [us]

Awards

Award winnerYearAwardCategory 
Dirk Simon2009Maverick Movie Awards [us]Best ChronicleWinner
Philip Glass2009Maverick Movie Awards [us]Best Original ScoreWinner
Robert Muratore2009Maverick Movie Awards [us]Best CinematographyWinner
Jeff Pointer2009Maverick Movie Awards [us]Best CinematographyWinner
Damien Rice2009Maverick Movie Awards [us]Best Original ScoreWinner
Thom Yorke2009Maverick Movie Awards [us]Best Original ScoreWinner