Voices For Freedom

Beautiful and emotional new animated Amnesty International spot from director Oliver Durant at Captive in Lisbon based on the plight of Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen currently imprisoned by China for his documentary about human rights in his home country.

From the WeAreCaptive website:

"Leo Burnett's campaign for Amnesty International addresses the silencing of civil activists worldwide. One such activist, Dhondup Wangchen was imprisoned in 2008 for the making of his documentary 'leaving fear behind' which describes the feelings of modern day Tibetans regarding Chinese rule and the then impending Beijing Olympic Games.

Following his imprisonment in 2008 a massive wave of unrest tore through Tibet in the form of the rioting of Buddhist monks resulting in the disappearance of over 1000 monks unaccounted for until this day. Dhondup's story became for us a resounding analogy of a much greater worldwide struggle against authoritarian rule and the use of power to silence the minority."


"Leo's poignant slogan for the Amnesty campaign 'Voices for Freedom' was the starting point for our animation leading us to narrate the story of Dhondup's own discovery and loss of his freedom of speech. It was important for us to convey the identity of Tibet which seems to have been trampled by Chinese rule, as was it seems the identity of Dhondup himself.

Our script was influenced strongly by Bhuddist and Tibetan proverbs which significantly inform the beliefs of the Tibetan people. The narrative involves many symbolic animals which are central to religion and lifestyle in Tibet, the Yak, Tiger and antelope are all Bhuddist prayer animals while the crane is a national symbol in China.

Key to our story was the idea that a single voice can influence thousands of others, represented in our animation as dandelion seeds free with the potential to create a thousand others but on a journey that may also end in an instant. Our final message is that one voice will always prevail through the masses who are silenced to inform a thousand others and in this case the voice is that of Dhondup Wangchen."

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