Archive - 10th Five Flavours Film Festival

New Asian Cinema

Tharlo

China 2015, 123’
subtitles: Polish and English
director: Pema Tseden
screenplay: Pema Tseden
cinematography: Lu Songy
editing: Gregorius Arya, Song Bing
music: Wang Jue
cast: Shide Nyima, Tso Yangshik
producer: Qin Ling, Wu Leilei, Sean Wang, Gao Hong, Xu Li, Sun Jialin
production: Beijing Fenghua Times Culture Communication, Beijing YiHe Star Film Production, Heaven Pictures (Beijing) Culture & Media Co., New Heaven Picture Culture & Media
language: Tibetan
colouration: b&w

awards and festivals

Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2015 - Achievement in Cinematography (Special Mention); Golden Horse FF 2015 – Best Adapted Screenplay; Tokyo FILMEX 2015 – Grand Prize, Student Jury Prize; IF of Asian Cinema Vesoul 2016 – INALCO Prize, Grand Prize; Shanghai Film Critics Award 2016; Venice IFF 2015; Busan IFF 2015; Vancouver IFF 2015; HKIFF 2016

Film description

Tharlo is 40 years old, he can recite Mao's Little Red Book from memory, and he is about to have his ID photo taken for the first time in his life. But before he can do that, he has to visit a hairdresser. She turns out to be quite charming.

Far from the ethnographic, touristy images of the "magical Tibet", the film takes a look at the contemporary reality of the country from an unique, fresh perspective. Pema Tseden closes this poetic story about discovering and fulfilling dreams, filled with subtle humor, in black-and-white frames and simple narration. When an official informs Tharlo that needs to have an ID, he asks "Isn't it enough that I know who I am?". As it turns out, soon he will have to verify that. A meeting of a naive, rough, solitary shepherd, and an energetic, small-town hairdresser, is a pretext to show the reality of life in the Tongde region (the director's homeland) – but it is not just that. The film can be seen as a political allegory, but it is mostly a simple story about authentic emotions and an unexpected impulse for change.

Jagoda Murczyńska

Pema Tseden

Born in 1969. Director, screenwriter and writer from Tibet. The first Tibetan to graduate from the prestigious Film Academy in Beijing. His feature debut, "The Silent Holy Stones," was the first film shot in the Tibetan language with an entirely Tibetan crew. His films were shown and awarded at numerous international festivals, including Bangkok, Taipei, Locarno, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Venice. He published more than 50 short stories and novels, in Tibetan and Mandarin, later translated into many languages.

Filmography:

2005 Lhing vjags kyi ma ni rdo vbum / The Silent Holy Stone
2009 Poszukiwana / Xunzhao zhimei gengdeng / The Search
2009 Flames Wafting in 1983
2010 Khyi rgan / Old Dog
2014 Yangdar / The Sacred Arrow
2015 Tharlo

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