Williamson Film Collection: Gangtok Residency, Sikkim, and Gyantse, Tibet.
© University of Cambridge
please select a bandwidth for the film clip:
Gangtok Residency, Sikkim, and Gyantse, Tibet.
Filmed by Frederick Williamson in 1931.
excerpt from Margaret Williamson's narrative:
'Much of our time in Lhasa was taken up with social engagements, for it was important that we get to know people, and it was hoped that we British might thereby be able to exert a positive influence in Tibet. Some of the dinner parties we attended went on for hours with numerous exotic Chinese dishes, like shark's fin soup, sea slugs and various kinds of chicken and duck. We were therefore grateful for the occasional day off when we could relax with our mail and the newspapers that had followed us up from India. A particular social asset was the cinema. As in Bhutan, Charlie Chaplin was the great favourite; we had one of his films called The Adventurer, in which he played an escaped convict. The Tibetans renamed this film 'Kuma' (The Thief) and everyone wanted to see it, including His Holiness, who laughed heartily throughout the performance. The Tibetans all had a marvellous sense of humour. We were also able to show them films we had recently shot in Bhutan, these having been forwarded to us from Calcutta where they had been sent to be developed.' (page 104)