by Khashem Gyal color, 53 min, 2013 in Tibetan and Chinese with Tibetan, Chinese, and English subtitles
Valley of the Heroes offers a rare glimpse at a pivotal moment of cultural and linguistic transition among Tibetans and Muslims in Hualong County, a remote community in Amdo, Tibet, part of what is now eastern Qinghai Province, China. Over the past several decades, Tibetans living in Hualong have experienced rapid cultural shifts accelerated by language loss – today more than 30% are unable to speak their own 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. Directed by first time Tibetan filmmaker Khashem Gyal, Valley of the Heroes serves as both a warning call and glimmer of hope for the future of Tibet.