Tharlo

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    Tharlo

    Directed by

    Tibet

    2015

    123 min

    • Tibetan

    Drama

    Tharlo is an orphan. Now grown up, he makes a living as a sheep herder in the village. He has grown a ponytail, so people simply call him “Ponytail”, since nobody remembers his real name anyway. Tharlo has a remarkable memory. He remembers so many things, except his own name. He is now in his forties, and he has yet to have his first woman. Now Tharlo goes to town to take a photo for his identity card. He meets a girl in the barber’s shop who changes the course of his life. He embarks on the journey to find his true self. He sells all his sheep and those entrusted by other villagers to him for care, and decides to use the money to go out into the world with the girl, only to find himself being deceived and cheated by her. Ironically, in his journey of self-discovery, Tharlo has lost his sense of self. As he witnesses in the mirror his ponytail being cut off and leaving him bald, he can no longer see himself as a man with a history that he recognizes.

    Awards

    • Best Adapted Screenplay - Taipei Golden Horse FF
    • Grand Prize, Student Jury Prize - Tokyo FILMeX
    • Cyclo d'Or, Prix INALCO - FI de Cinémas d'Asie de Vesoul

    Festivals

    Credits

    Cast
    Shide Nyima
    Yangshik Tso
    Screenplay
    Pema Tseden
    Cinematography
    Lu Songye
    Editing
    Liao Ching-sung

    Director's Statement

    Tharlo is typical of Tibetans of the present generation. This is a story that shows them in the state of confusion, disorientation and desensitisation. The film is made in black and white. The ruggedness in the images speaks of the situation and ambience of the vast lands of Tibet, and of the state of being of the protagonist.

    Sales
    ASIAN SHADOWS
    Production
    HEAVEN PICTURES (BEIJING) CULTURE & MEDIA CO., LTD.
    Production
    BEIJING OCEAN & TIME CULTURE COMMUNICATION CO., LTD.
    Production
    BEIJING YIHE STAR FILM PRODUCTION LTD.
    Production
    NEW HEAVEN PICTURE (BEIJING) CULTURE & MEDIA CO., LTD.

    Press

    The director employs some devices adeptly, so that he offers new interest to a well-trodden path.

    Amber WIlkinson, Eye for Film

    The director proves to be a master of dilating time, while enchanting viewers with a nearly sensorial portrayal of solitude and disillusion.

    Diana Mereoiu, Nisimazine

    A beautifully judged picture from a director to note.

    Wendy Ide, Screen Daily

    Pema Tseden

    Pema Tseden

    China

    Films are a medium of the new modern culture. But this is a new form of art in Tibet. I want to create a new system of culture.

    Pema Tseden (Wan Ma Cai Dan), born in 1969 in Amdo, graduated from the Northwest University for Nationalities, Beijing Film Academy and Lu Xun College respectively. Chairman of the Directors Association of China, he is also a member of the Filmmakers and Literary Societies of China. Since 1991, he has published more than forty novels and short fiction in both Tibetan and Chinese. THARLO (2015), premiered at the Venice IFF, Orizzonti Competition. His latest film BALLOON (2019) had its world premiere in the Orizzonti section of the 76th Venice International Film Festival.

    Selected Filmography