On VOD: STATE OF CONTROL

f_stateComing to VOD tomorrow, Friday, June 19: STATE OF CONTROL

Christian Johnston and Darren Mann’s attempt to document Tibetan repression debuted at Stanford’s United Nations Association fest in 2013. Other fest screenings included Woodstock and DocuWest. FilmBuff now makes it available across VOD platforms including iTunes.

Early into their documentary, American filmmakers Johnston and Mann explain that they didn’t intend to film themselves, but claim that they had no choice. Initially setting out to give voice to Tibetans struggling under Chinese rule, they instead begin to chronicle their own troubles attempting to make a film under China’s ever watchful eye. In the face of intimidation tactics, from constant surveillance by uniformed and undercover agents alike to vandalism of their equipment, the disappearance of their translator and guide to the hacking of their production team’s email accounts, the duo are warned in no uncertain terms that their probing into the Tibetan situation is officially unwelcome. While their doggedness is admirable, they do lose sight of their goal in their too-familiar turn to metafilmmaking, and end up more or less burying the more interesting stories of Tibetan activists like Dhondup Wangchen, imprisoned for making a film featuring candid interviews with Tibetans.

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1 Comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Releases

One response to “On VOD: STATE OF CONTROL

  1. R

    This could have been a really interesting doc but the turn of the camera on the filmmakers takes away the impact of Chinese toll on the lives of Tibetans. We get it, you are white and are being followed because you are tying to highlight the problems of a group long persecuted but we don’t care about you, we care about the original subjects.

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