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What Remains of Us

Year: 2004
Language: English and French
Runtime: 77 min
Director: François Prévost, Hugo Latulippe
Producer: François Prévost, Yves Bisaillon
Writer: François Prévost, Hugo Latulippe
Cinematographer: François Prévost, Hugo Latulippe
Editor: Annie Jean
Sound: François Senneville
Cast: Kalsang Dolma, Dalai Lama
Production Company: National Film Board of Canada

During an interview, filmmakers François Prevost and Hugo Latulippe acquired a five-minute message from the Dalai Lama – who has been exiled from his homeland since 1950 – to the people still living under Chinese occupation in Tibet. The message urges them to be true to the Buddhist ideal of facing one’s enemies with compassion, and to continue their peaceful resistance. With Kalsang Dolma, a young Tibetan exile living in Quebec, they journey to her native land to spread this video message. The result is a bold documentary that poses the question, as Prévostputs it: AIf the Tibetan nation dissolves forever, assimilated by a vastly greater economic and military power, what message, as human beings, are we passing on to future generations? What will remain of us?@

Dolma had to smuggle the videotape into Tibet, and participants were warned of potential persecution for those who watched the video if the Chinese authorities should confiscate Prévost and Latulippe’s footage and identify the participants. Dolma takes the video to peasant farmers and urban labourers; families and friends crowd around the tiny screen, and many see an image of the Dalai Lama for the first time.

Eight years in the making, What Remains of Us received the audience award for Most Popular Canadian Film at the Vancouver International Film Festival, as well as a Genie nomination for Best Documentary. It was also named one of Canada=s Top Ten of 2004 by an independent, national panel of filmmakers, programmers, journalists and industry professionals.

By: Andrew McIntosh

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