For the first time in decades, people witnessed and recorded on video Chinese border agents killing Tibetan refugees.In his documentary “Murder in the Snow,” director Mark Gould makes sure audience members appreciate the fact that the film even exists, because as the mountaineers explain, the original video footage had to be smuggled out of the country.

This documentary recounts the experience of a group of mountaineers who witnessed Chinese border patrol officers shoot a group of Tibetan pilgrims as they attempted to escape to Nepal through the Mt. Cho Oyu region. This is a great film for anyone interested in human rights issues or anyone considering a trip to the region.

It was on Sept. 30, 2006, that the lives of 100 mountaineers and a group of Tibetan pilgrims were forever changed.

“I immediately knew that somebody was going to die, and I turned to the clients and said, ‘you don’t wanna watch this,’” said the mountaineers trekking guide, Luis Benitez, as the group looked on in horror towards the escalating violence.

Gould frames the story within the experiences of those whom the event affected most: the Tibetans and the mountaineers. Piecing almost every detail of the story together using interviews from the mountaineers, Tibetan pilgrims, human rights activists, journalists and Chinese officials, “Murder int he Snow” is a gripping tale of loss, survival and the cost of freedom.

“Murder in the Snow” uses original footage taken by one of the mountaineers who happened to be a photojournalist, which makes the film even more compelling because audience members are shown primary source material, allowing them to come to their own conclusions about the political and religious issues Tibetans face every day.

Video footage shot by photojournalist Sergiu Matei, one of the 100 mountaineers, shows the Tibetans collapsing one by one after each AK-47 gunshot is heard in the background. Matei’s voice is also heard on the video as he says, “Fuck, they’re shooting them like dogs.”