Previously at the ICA - Films
19 Oct 2011 – 20 Oct 2011
If Pema Tseden’s last film The Search was inspired by Kiarostami, this new film takes its cue from Bresson. Not in seeing the world from an animal’s point-of-view, but in its use of non-pro actors, its careful framing and its ‘spiritual’ contemplation of material things. We’re in Tibet, of course (Pema Tseden has virtually invented modern Tibetan cinema singlehanded), in a village which has seen a recent spate of dog thefts. An unkempt old Nomad Mastiff has been in Gonpo’s family for years, and he one day decides to sell it to pre-empt the thieves. He’s so pleased with the deal that he gets drunk before roaring home late at night on his motorbike. Next day his father rides into town on his pony to buy the dog back. The father-son conflict over the dog brings other tensions to the surface too, such as the father’s worry that Gonpo and his wife Rikso have been married for three years without producing a child…The story is humorous-going-on-tragic, and Pema Tseden finesses a completely convincing blend of naturalistic detail and bigger-picture metaphors for the strains of life in a changing Tibet. Not surprisingly, it’s very beautiful.
Pema Tseden, China (Tibet) 2010, 93min
Cast: Lochey Drolma Kyab, Tamdrin Tso