Have you watched Jean-Jacques Annaud's movie "Seven Years in Tibet"?
The film was set a few years before the Chinese invasion of Tibet. It depicts the last years of Tibetan independence and the clash between Tibetan and Western values. That is modesty versus competitiveness, tradition versus progress, community versus individualism, peacefulness versus pugnacity.
In the movie, Tibet is depicted as a half exotic, half fairy-tail land, and a kind of paradise (lost) on Earth's roof. For the main character, Austrian climber Heinrich Harrer (Brad Pitt), meeting the young 14th Dalai Lama (Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk) leads to inner transformation, resulting in him learning to distinguish and appreciate what matters in life. Although popular culture, by definition, shows simplified, schematic visions of reality, it plays, due to rich scopes and high accessibility, a crucial role in creating common beliefs and spreading the awareness of critical social issues.
For sure the Annaud's picture, as well as Michael Scorsese's "Kundun" (1997) or series of Tibetan Freedom Concerts (started in 1996 in San Francisco with the line-up including Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Radiohead, The Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against the Machine, Sonic Youth, Björk, Yoko Ono and many others) gained and still gains many supporters for the Free Tibet movement, sustained oppression of Tibetan people as a matter of global concern, and empowered the bottom-up resistance against the Chinese policy.
So how and when did you learn about the situation in Tibet? Please share in the comments.