A graduate in journalism from the University of Quebec at Montreal, Geneviève Brault is a young director-screenwriter with a keen interest in social problems. Her experience as director and researcher for television allowed her to explore relevant issues like Canadian cultural diversity, the feminine condition and indigenous realities. Her short film Portrait de bohèmes was included in the running for the Caméra Verte prize at the Montreal International Documentary Festival (known by its French acronym RIDM) in 2008. Her concern with Tibet began in the early 2000s when she reported on the issue for the bilingual journalism show Culture Choc/Shock, which aired on RDI, Radio-Canada, CBC Newsworld and TV5. Her television report Lama Santen won her the Prix Galaxie from the Association of Cable Distributors in 2001. Geneviève has also directed 14 half-hour documentaries about different social issues for the series 109 (RDI/Radio-Canada).
The film Tibet: Land of the Brave marks the fruition of a long journey that began with director Geneviève Brault’s research on the Tibetan community in Quebec in 2001. Geneviève met Marijo Demers while directing two short television stories about the community. She continued to attend various Tibetan events with Marijo and her family, building a level of trust that would allow Geneviève to accompany the couple and their daughter on two different trips to Tibet. In 2005, Geneviève stayed with the family for three months while embedded in a nomad community in the mountains, opening up a unique reporting opportunity with fascinating and dynamic people. This first immersion in Tibet revealed the urgency of a people whose way of life was threatened and compelled her to tell their stories.
Tibetan nomads, who until recently have managed to preserve their ancestral heritage, now face serious threats to their daily lives. The Chinese government, convinced that the nomad population should follow the Western development model, ordered the sedentarization of 80 percent of Tibetan plateau nomads in 2010. During her time there, Geneviève witnessed first-hand the effects of government policies: Tibetans nomads, forced to fence in their herds with barbed wire, are hammering the nails in their own coffins.
Through this highly intimate and original creation process, Tibet: Land of the Brave reflects candidly on the condition and future of the Tibetan people. Giving them a voice and a face, it reveals the vestiges of an ancestral lifestyle under constant threat.