This is Zhuangzhuang's dream project: a film about the real Tibet, from the hardship and cruelty of life on the plains to the splendour and mystery of Buddhist ceremonial, a film about life and death in the Buddhist scheme of things. The story is told in pictures, not words. Norbu is a horse thief, expelled from his clan, forced to become a nomad, pitching his tent wherever he can find casual work. He and his wife are devout Buddhists, regularly visiting the temples to turn the prayer-wheels, but their son falls sick and dies. Norbu reaches his lowest ebb when a tribe hires him to carry the death-totem in a ritual exorcism of a plague of anthrax. In desperation, he returns to his clan to beg to be taken back. Filmed on locations in Tibet, Gansu and Qinghai and acted by local people, it offers the most awesomely plausible account of Tibetan life and culture ever seen in the west. It's one of the few films whose images show you things you've never seen before.
Cast and crew