The Sweet Requiem
The harsh but stunning Himalayan scenery is unforgettable in this story of a young Tibetan living in a refugee community in India who is forced to face again the trauma of her treacherous tramontane journey.
"The Sweet Requiem should be welcomed at international film festivals and could find a niche with boutique distributors or global streamers."—The Hollywood Reporter
Born to a nomadic family in Tibet but living in India, Dolkar (Tenzin Dolker, in her on-screen debut) is part of the Tibetan diaspora that fled the region to avoid Chinese persecution. Eighteen years after making the harrowing trek over the Himalayas with her father, she has only dim memories of the endless grasslands of her homeland, which we glimpse briefly in flashbacks. Still, Dolkar has maintained close relationships within the Tibetan community in Delhi, including her friend, Dorjee (Shavo Dorjee), a social worker who assists Tibetan refugees crossing the border. One of these, named Gompo (Jampa Kalsang), jolts Dolkar's repressed memory of a betrayal at a bleak mountain pass during her own flight to freedom that may have led to her father's death. Determined to bring Gompo to justice, Dolkar tries to discredit him, only to realize there are mitigating circumstances behind Gompo's actions. Directed by the documentary team of Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, The Sweet Requiem is only their second fictional narrative drama, coming more than a decade after their well-received first feature, Dreaming Lhasa. Beyond the human drama of the Tibetan migration, the sweeping backdrop of the mountain scenes, filmed on location at 15,000 feet in the Indian Himalayas, heighten the sense of isolation and displacement of these proud, stoic people.
Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam are an Indian-Tibetan couple who have been making films together since the mid-'80s when, as students, they made their first award-winning documentary, The New Puritans: The Sikhs Of Yuba City. Through their production company White Crane Films, which they started in 1991, they have made several documentary films, video installations, and one dramatic feature film. In 2012, they launched the Dharamshala International Film Festival, which is now one of India's leading independent film festivals.
Sponsored by Tasveer
- Original Language Title: Kyoyang Ngarmo
- Director: Ritu Sarin, Tenzing Sonam
- Principal Cast: Tenzin Dolker, Jampa Kalsang, Shavo Dorjee, Rabyoung Thonden Gyalkhan, Tenzin Dechen
- Country: India, USA
- Year: 2018
- Running Time: 93 minutes
- Producer: Ritu Sarin, Shrihari Sathe
- Screenplay: Tenzing Sonam
- Cinematographers: David McFarland
- Editors: Jabeen Merchant
- Music: Michael Montes
- Website: Official Film Website
- Awards: Kolkata International Film Festival 2018 (NETPAC Award) Aurangabad International Film Festival 2018 (Audience Award)
- Filmography: When Hari Got Married (Doc, 2012); The Sun Behind the Clouds (Doc, 2009); Dreaming Lhasa (2005); The Reincarnation of Khensur Rinpoche (Doc, 1991)
- Language: Tibetan
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: DCP
- International Sales: Dialectic