The crisis caused by refugees from the conflicts in the Middle East has raised everyone’s consciousness of the problem of people forced from their homeland because of unbearable conditions of one sort or another. It also highlights the risks people are prepared to take to get away, and the tragic results that often occur.
People have been escaping from Tibet ever since 1959 when the Dalai Lama was forced to flee his homeland and many refugees fled with him, or shortly thereafter; and still to this day there are people fleeing the country due to the oppressive and destructive policies of the Chinese government.
This film was made in the year 2000 and goes to the Tibet-Nepal border to see the children who are being smuggled across the border so that they can get an education in their own language, culture and religion, and it is truly heartbreaking to see children as young as seven walking for days on end trying to cross mountain passes 22,000ft high and covered with snow and blizzards.
It seems that unlike the traffickers profiting from the chaos in the Middle East the guides who are helping the children here are risking everything, and not for money, but to help the children out of a situation in their home country which has become unbearable.
The film follows the children as they cross out of Tibet, and down into Nepal, and finally on to India and Dharamsala, where they are greeted by the Dalai Lama, and looked after by his sister who is running Tibetan schools for the children.
This is a really moving, and quite unforgettable film, which focuses our attention on a nearly forgotten crisis which no one in power seems to care much about as it doesn’t affect them personally.