A family struggles against the conflicting dictates of nature, spirituality, politics, and free will.Read More »
Pema Tseden – Qi qiu AKA Balloon (2019)
Lhapal Gyal – Wang Zha de yuxue AKA Wangdrak’s Rain Boots (2018)
After heavy rains, puddles and mud cover the streets of the Tibetan mountain village. It’s good for the crops, but bad for young Wangdrak, the only boy in the village without rubber boots. While his father is busy with other worries, Wangdrak’s mother fulfills her son’s wish. But new shoes bring new problems. For Wangdrak, a battle against the blue sky and for the rain begins, fought alongside his loyal friend Lhamo. Nestled in the inimitable mountain landscape, director Lhapal Gyal uses vivid imagery to show us a culture steeped in ancient traditions, paying special attention to the young protagonist’s dreams.Read More »
Pema Tseden – Zhuang si le yi zhi yang AKA Jinpa (2018)
This is a story of revenge and redemption.
On an isolated road passing through the vast barren plains of Tibet, a truck driver who has accidentally run over a sheep chances upon a young man who is hitching a ride. As they drive and chat, the truck driver notices that his new friend has a silver dagger strapped to his leg. He comes to understand that this man is out to kill someone who wronged him earlier in life. As he drops the hitchhiker off at a fork in the road, little does the truck driver realize that their short time together has changed everything, and that their destinies are inexorably intertwined.
On the path of life, sometimes we meet someone whose dreams overtake our own to the point that they converge.Read More »
Yang Zhang – Pi sheng shang de hun AKA Soul on a String (2016)
A slow-simmering, Western-style action drama of blood feud, misfired machismo, and spiritual quest spread across Tibet’s rolling steppes and scorching deserts, “Soul on a String” follows the travails of a hunter led by fate to deliver a sacred stone to a mythic mountain despite motley foes at his heels. Chinese director Zhang Yang (“Shower,” “Sunflower”) eschews the thrill of propulsive duels for a discursive allegorical approach, serving up picturesque visuals, highland-dry humor, and karmic plot twists. While the nearly two-and-a-half-hour running time is sure to hamper theatrical release prospects, Zhang’s quirky blend of genre and art-house elements should ensure considerable fest play.Read More »