Inner Asia 4 (2002): 277–346 Reprinted 2008. © Global Oriental Ltd. The Secret Secret : Cinema, Ethnicity and Seventeenth Century Tibetan-Mongolian Relations ROBERT BARNETT East Asian Institute, Room 939 School of International and Public Affairs Columbia University Mailcode 333, 420 West 118th, New York NY 10027, USA Email: email@example.com ABSTRACT The Secret History of the Potala Palace , a 1989 ﬁlm about Mongol-Tibetan relations in the seventeenth century, was a milestone in the still tentative development of Tibetan ﬁlm, with signiﬁcant Tibetan participation and close attention to Tibetan sources of history. This paper suggests possible reasons for the withdrawal of the ﬁlm from circulation, and proposes ways of reading ﬁlm in the context of contested versions of ethnicity. The paper gives a brief survey of Tibetan ﬁlm and discusses the implica- tions of ‘reverse readings’ of propaganda materials in Tibet, and sees this ﬁlm as an enactment of the practice by ethnic groups in China of appropriating state rhetoric as promises. It summarises the work of the Tibet Theatre Group, and of the Chinese writer and director who worked with them on the ﬁlm, and discusses the political changes in Tibet during the production period and their effect
Inner Asia – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2002
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