ABOUT THE FILM
"Sentenced to Die" is a one-hour documentary film which examines the situation surrounding the case of Tulku Tenzin Delek.
The case of Tulku Tenzin Delek has galvanized the efforts of Tibet Support Groups (TSGs)
from around the world. Currently languishing in a Chinese prison, Tenzin has been convicted by the
Chinese Supreme People's Court of 'inciting separatism' and for involvement in a series of bombings in western
Sichuan Province between 1998 and 2002. However, all his life,
Tenzin Delek preached nonviolence and peace and worked tirelessly for
the good of his community. Because of his popularity, he posed a threat
to local Chinese authorities. Therefore, thousands of Tibetans who
have followed his teachings over the past 20 years, as well as numerous
international human rights organizations believe that Tenzin Delek was
framed for crimes he did not commit.
The film's purpose is to create more awareness about Tenzin Delek's situation as one critical
moment in the ongoing struggle for Tibetan freedom. The immediate release of Tenzin is crucial, even beyond the scope
of one man's life: his case is an example of the crimes perpetrated in Tibet over the past fifty-five years, and what
will continue to happen unless action is taken at the international level.
Independent filmmaker Elinore Burke has teamed up with
Tsering Ngodup of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in Dharamsala, India, to document the case of Tulku Tenzin Delek.
Because the filmmakers were not physically able to contact Tenzin, his story is told through the voices of members of the
Tibetan community living in exile in Dharamsala and Mundgod, India. During a three-week period in the summer of 2004, the filmmakers shot
interviews with officials of the Tibetan Government-in-exile, leaders of NGOs and TSGs world-wide. In these interviews
each person speaks about Tenzin Delek and what their administration or organization is doing for his case; this is put
into context of the Tibetan struggle for freedom. Disciples of Tenzin Delek, former political prisoners, and other residents
of Dharamsala were also questioned and in these interviews they relate their experiences as Tibetans driven into exile by the Chinese,
adding another layer to the story of Tenzin. In addition to the conversations with these subjects, the documentary includes images and
archival video footage contributed by those interviewed and the CTA.
Those who had contact with Tenzin in the monastic, political, academic and artistic communities,
and who have contributed to this documentary include members of:
The Central Tibetan Administration
Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy
National Democratic Party of Tibet
Tibetan Youth Congress
Friends of Tibet
Tibetan Women's Association
Students For a Free Tibet
The International Campaign For Tibet
Doma Ling Nunnery, Dharamsala
Tibet Initiative Deutschland e.V.
Drepung Monastery, Mundgod
Soname Yangchen of Brighton, England, and the
Exile Brothers, Dharamsala's very own rock band, have contributed music to this work.