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delamu

China / Japan, 2004 (MIFF 2005, Horizons: New Chinese Cinema)

Director: Tian Zhuangzhuang

"The 'Tea Horse Route' is the highest and most perilous of China's ancient trading routes, originating in western Yunnan, ascending the Tibetan plateau, winding through the Himalayas into Nepal, Bhutan and India. Tea was carried along this route by pack-mules for more than two millennia, and mule-packers still negotiate the narrow dirt-tracks and impossible mountain passes - nowadays, though, carrying construction materials for the coming road which is going to obliterate traditional ways of life in the region. "Armed with high-definition cameras, Tian Zhuangzhuang (MIFF 03 guest) set out to document the origins of this route. The images of the region's topography are as spectacular as you'd expect from the director of Horse Thief... but Tian is, of course, more interested in the people than the place. He pauses to record interviews with those he meets along the way: a Christian pastor from the Lisu tribe, a 104-year-old woman who's outliving her own bad memories, a young, bigamous Tibetan, and the owner of Delamu, a hardy mule whose name means 'Angel of Peace' in Tibetan. Fascinating beyond words." - Tony Rayns, London Film Festival
D/S Tian Zhuangzhuang P Takahiro Hamano, Yang Zhao WS Fortissimo Films L Chinese w/English subtitles TD 35mm/col/2004/110mins Tian Zhuangzhuang was born in Beijing, China in 1952. His films include [The Horse Thief] (1986), [The Blue Kite] (1993), [Springtime in a Small Town] (MIFF 2003).

See also...

SOUTH OF THE CLOUDS

China, 2004
South of the Clouds (Yun de Nan Fang)ChinaWinner of the Best Film and FIPRESCI prizes at this year's Hong Kong Film Festival, South of the Clouds is a bittersweet tale of one man's long-awaited journ… More »

SOUTH OF THE CLOUDS

China, 2004
South of the Clouds (Yun de Nan Fang)ChinaWinner of the Best Film and FIPRESCI prizes at this year's Hong Kong Film Festival, South of the Clouds is a bittersweet tale of one man's long-awaited journ… More »

NEW CHINESE CINEMA

UK, 1988
Written and directed by the festival's longstanding Asian Cinema consultant, Tony Rayns, this is a comprehensive overview of the truly cultural revolution which is taking place in the Chinese cinema … More »

LI LIANYING - THE IMPERIAL EUNUCH

Hong Kong, 1991
From Tian Zhuangzhuang, the director of Horse Thief, comes this unique re-telling of the long reign of Tz'u-hsi, the Empress Dowager of turn-of-the-century China, as seen through the memory of Li Lia… More »

THE BLUE KITE

China, 1993
A rival to Jung Chang's Wild Swans as the most moving and convincing account of the realities of life under Mao's regime, The Blue Kite remains banned and unseen in China. Tian Zhuangzhuang's work ha… More »

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