Private Project

Women of Tibet: A Quiet Revolution

In 1959 thousands of unarmed Tibetan women took to the streets of Lhasa to oppose the violent Chinese occupation of their country. For the first time on film, three generations of Tibetan women and His Holiness the Dalai Lama recount one of the great movements of nonviolent resistance in modern history.

  • Rosemary Rawcliffe
    Director
  • Rosemary Rawcliffe
    Executive Producer
  • Rosemary Rawcliffe
    Producer
  • Rosemary Rawcliffe
    Writer
  • Miriam Telles
    Co-Writer
  • His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
    Key Cast
  • Jetsun Pema
    Key Cast
  • Rinchen Khando Choegyal
    Key Cast
  • Ama Adhe Tapontsang
    Key Cast
  • Dolma Tsering Teykhang
    Key Cast
  • Tseten Choeden Schneiter
    Key Cast
  • Samdup Dolma
    Key Cast
  • Tenzin Peldon
    Key Cast
  • Pema Chogkhan
    Key Cast
  • Miriam Telles
    Editor
  • Peter McCandless
    Cinematography
  • June Zandona
    Additional Photography
  • Joy Quigley
    Additional Photography
  • Aram Fischer
    Assistant Camera
  • Paul James Zahnley
    Sound Editor
  • Michael Becker
    Original Music/Composer
  • Tsering Dorjee Bawa
    Original Music/Composer
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Genres:
    Historical, Cultural
  • Runtime:
    56 minutes 36 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 1, 2007
  • Production Budget:
    390,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    India, United States
  • Language:
    English, Tibetan
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Mill Valley Film Festival
    San Rafael
    United States
    October 13, 2007
    US Premiere
    Official Selection
  • PBS Broadcast Premiere

    United States
    April 1, 2008
    Broadcast Premiere
  • 29th Annual Telly Awards
    San Francisco, California
    United States
    May 1, 2008
    2 Silver Telly Awards, 2 Bronze Telly Awards
  • Asian American International Film Festival
    New York City, New York
    United States
    July 1, 2008
    Official Selection
  • Rwanda Human Rights Film Festival

    United States
    September 1, 2008
    Official Selection
  • Non Violence International Film Festival
    Ontario
    Canada
    September 1, 2008
    Official Selection
  • New Jersey Independent South Asian Cine Fest
    Monmouth Junction, New Jersey
    United States
    September 1, 2008
    Official Selection
  • Moondance International Film Festival
    Boulder, Colorado
    United States
    September 1, 2008
    Finalist
  • Kansas International Film Festival
    Overland, Kansas
    United States
    September 1, 2008
    Official Selection
  • Mount Shasta International Film Festival
    Mount Shasta, California
    United States
    October 1, 2008
    Official Selection
  • 2009 Northern California Emmy Awards
    San Francisco, California
    United States
    May 16, 2009
    Emmy Award for Historic/Cultural - Program/Special
  • Toronto Tibet Film Festival
    Toronto
    Canada
    April 1, 2010
  • The Loft Cinema - International Women's Day
    Tucson, Arizona
    United States
    March 9, 2011
  • Link TV Broadcast

    United States
    August 1, 2013
  • National Tibetan Women's 56th Uprising Day
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    United States
    March 1, 2015
  • Glastonbury Film Festival
    Somerset
    United Kingdom
    June 24, 2015
  • Festival For Tibet
    Olomouc
    Czech Republic
    March 1, 2016
  • Tibetan Film Festival
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    United States
    March 3, 2018
Distribution Information
  • Frame of Mind Films
    Country: United States
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Rosemary Rawcliffe

Founder of Frame of Mind Films, Rosemary Rawcliffe is an EMMY® award winning consultant and executive producer, producer, and director with more than 30 years of international experience in television, advertising, film, video, and theatrical production. A social entrepreneur, Rosemary is equally capable of managing both the creative and business aspects of a media production company. Her strengths lie in her ability to successfully manage people, coordinate multiple projects, synthesize ideas into integrated concepts, and deliver the final production on time and on budget. As a humanitarian, she has a lifelong commitment to creating films that emphasize human rights and tell stories from the female perspective. When Rosemary moved to the United States from her native England, she founded Frame of Mind Films to continue her work in America and her passion for producing stories that bear witness to spirit, hope, and courage.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

My interest in Tibet began many years ago as a student of Tibetan Buddhism. As I learned more about the culture and the role Tibetan women played in their community, I was compelled by the idea of producing a film that would explore their role in all aspects of Tibetan society. This idea was the genesis of A Quiet Revolution and began when I discovered the untold story of 15,000 women coming together in March 1959 to oppose the occupation of their country by the Communist Chinese army. In making this film I could see there was a story within a story that crossed 3 generations: from the women who were part of the uprising, and who were imprisoned or escaped following His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama into exile in India; the women who came of age rebuilding their culture in exile; and their daughters, born and raised in exile yet expected to carry a culture of a country they may never see.

In the process of producing A Quiet Revolution everyone spoke about the Dalai Lama’s mother, including the Dalai Lama, as being a force for good in the darkest of times. The importance of her role was not just as His Holiness’ mother, rather as a woman who inspired the strength to preserve culture, family, and tradition while in exile. This revelation lives at the heart of Gyalyum Chemo: The Great Mother and forced me to complete this film first. Marrying a rich and full life history with the universal Great Mother archetype, it took on a production life of its own.

All the material that sourced these two films presented me with the ability to see there was yet another film to be made. The Buddha’s Wife, still in production, seeks to shed light on what happens when two primal forces, the Divine Feminine and the Sacred Masculine, begin to work together to create a more harmonious and peaceful world. Together these three films are the Women of Tibet film trilogy.

Underpinning all of this is a belief that if we allow the Tibetan culture to be lost, we will lose a part of our humanity. Tibetans are carrying the model for our collective humanity when it comes to creating a society based on peace and nonviolence. They’ve been doing it for almost sixty years in exile. If we lose that model, that possibility, how do we imagine we can create a world worth living in?