Synopsis of Red Mask, a proposed
film by the Blind Dog Media
Since the exodus of Tibetan refugees into India and her neighbouring countries such as Nepal and Bhutan, the Tibetan culture, including performing arts has been put under constant threat of being erased. While occupied Tibet reels under the Communist China’s repression and systematic policies to wipe out Tibetan identity and culture, the cultural institutions established under the Tibetan Government in Exile have managed to preserve and promote some aspects of Tibet’s culture.
As the older generation of Tibetans pass away, young Tibetans in exile are left to find their culture in circumstances impacted by consumerism and Western influence. The only hope, perhaps, is the individual passion and interest in the Tibetan culture that will help survive the fast disappearing Tibetan culture and traditional performing arts.
Exile Tibet full of contradictions, both in the culture and the way people do things to realise their aspirations in the space of others, where they are still bound by social customs and traditions carried out from Tibet. Negotiating this complex maze of circumstances is the challenge that Tibetans in general and especially the younger generation face.
Red Mask, a proposed film by the Blind Dog Media captures the quintessence of the battle of passion for performing art and how an individual’s interest and dogged determination can triumph over family pressure, social custom and external influences. It tells how an old opera master discovers the potential in the young man and how he passes his knowledge down to the younger generation.
Red Mask presents the exilic contradictions and challenges through the eyes of this young novice monk, who madly wants to become an opera singer and yet is forced to become a monk by his dominant mother. This finely webbed tale of a young monk and his family is the representation of collective struggle in a microcosm.
The novice monk’s eventual triumph over his religious teacher and the strict mother to become an opera singer is a symptomatic of the collective Tibetan hard work, resilience and how relentless pursuance of a goal lands victory in the end.