a film by Pema Tseden

In cinemas 30 September 2016 


Winner: Best Cinematography, Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2015

Winner: Best Director, Golden Horse Film Festival 2015

Strikingly shot in black and white, leading Tibetan filmmaker Pema Tseden’s latest work explores identity, marginalisation and loneliness amid the changing face of contemporary Tibet.



Written & directed by: Pema Tseden

Cinematography: Songye Lu

Cast: Shide Nyima, Yangshik Tso

Production: Heaven Pictures (Beijing) Culture & Media Beijing Ocean & Time Culture Communication

Beijing YiHe Star Film Production

New Heaven Picture (Beijing) Culture & Media

Country of production: China

Year: 2015

Running time: 123 mins

Languages: Tibetan, Mandarin + subtitles

Tibetan filmmaker Pema Tseden’s artfully shot feature is a portrait of a shepherd called Tharlo who spends his days in the company of his sheep traversing the vast Tibetan plateau in the Amdo region of Tibet. When he heads into the city to finally obtain a government issued ID card, he meets a young city girl and a temptation-fuelled encounter takes him on an intense journey of self-realisation. A perceptive portrait of life in contemporary Tibet.

“Tharlo is typical of Tibetans of the present generation. This is a story that shows them in a state of confusion, disorientation and desensitisation. The film is made in black and white as 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, Tharlo.” – Pema Tseden


Sight & Sound: “the film’s triumph is that it presents Tharlo as a distinct and idiosyncratic individual”
Wanderlust Magazine: “a slow-burning look at life in modern Tibet… rather beautiful allegory”
Senses of Cinema: “masterful… superbly shot”