Screening of ‘Fire Under the Snow’ to benefit monks visit |

Screening of ‘Fire Under the Snow’ to benefit monks visit

Submitted to Prospector

Sierra Friends of Tibet will offer a free screening of the award winning feature documentary film "Fire Under the Snow." The documentary tells the story of Palden Gyatso, a Tibetan Buddhist monk who was imprisoned and tortured by the Chinese Communist Army for 33 years. When the Chinese invaded in 1959, Palden, who was a young man at the time, became one of thousands of monks and nuns arrested during peaceful demonstrations. In this emotional and edifying film, Palden recounts the brutal torture, interrogations, and starvation he suffered during his confinement. Though he may have received better treatment for doing so, he steadfastly refused to confess to crimes he didn't commit or denounce his fellow Tibetans as traitors.

After spending 23 years in prisons and 10 in labor camps, Palden was finally released in 1992. He escaped over treacherous, snow-covered mountains to Dharamsala, India, where he lives today with thousands of other exiled Tibetans. Now in his 70s, Palden tirelessly travels the world to raise awareness and campaign for total Tibetan independence from China. "Fire Under the Snow" cuts back and forth between Palden's life today as an exile and activist, his haunting memories of prison, and his recurring nightmares. Palden's ceaseless dedication is highlighted through his participation in a hunger strike at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy to protest the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The film is offered free, 7 p.m. Friday, in the Madelyn Helling Library Community Room, 980 Helling Way. Donations are accepted to help Sierra Friends of Tibet with expenses for the six monks visiting Grass Valley in January.

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