Film Screening: Crisis of Tibetan Language Loss and Khashem Gyal’s Valley of Heroes

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 1.06.53 AM

Date: Thursday, September 25, 2014

Venue: Elliott School of International Affairs, Room 113, 1957 E Street NW

Valley of Heroes is a feature-length ethnographic film documenting language and cultural loss in a Tibetan community  of Amdo in north-eastern Tibet (Qinghai). Over the past decades, Tibetans living in Hualong County (དཔའ་བོའི་ལུང་པ་) have experienced rapid cultural shifts and accelerated language loss.  Today a third of the population are unable to speak their native language. The film spends time with an assortment of village residents and elders who reflect on the changes taking place in their community, and also documents a unique Tibetan language program that is attempting to address the situation. Valley of Heroes offers a rare and thought-provoking glimpse into a Tibetan society caught in the midst of a painful and complex cultural transition.  

About the Director
Khashem Gyal is a graduate of Qinghai Nationalities University. He is the founder of the Amilolo Film Group, a film group dedicated to educating young Tibetans about digital video production and supporting a new generation of Tibetan filmmakers. He is also a core member of Plateau Photographers.  Khashem Gyal has directed numerous short films about Tibetan life and culture. Valley of Heroes is his first full-length documentary film. Khashem Gyal is currently in Washington DC as a Machik Fellow.