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Movies on Tibet: 8 films about the Tibetan Plateau

The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the largest plateau in China and the highest in the world, known as the "Roof of the World" and "Third Pole". Such a place full of countless people's feelings, there will naturally be many film works expressing emotions, this issue we talk about a few film works about the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

1. Once Upon A Time in Tibet


The whole story is enveloped in a deep mysterious atmosphere within the murmuring prayers of an old man’s spinning prayer wheels. The story is different from the traditional city love story that is glutting on our screen. In such a mysterious holy land, a beautiful Tibetan girl and an American pilot start a pure and aesthetic love story with its doomed destiny. Here in this film, the primitive love and life of the Tibetans find their best expression in the holy lakes and godly mountains. The director Daiwei combines illusion and reality, Tibetan fork tradition, and Western culture, depicting a mysterious life scene in the wondrous natural environment.

2. Red River Valley


The picturesque snow mountains and grasslands, marvelous civilization, simple folk customs and pure love all disappeared in the blatant wars. Red River Valley depicts a national epic that is anti-colonial and anti-aggression with all the blood and tears. In this film not only did we see the purity of humanity under the holy mountains but also the cruelty of wars and greed of human nature. The film is both a pure love story and a magnificent national song. The eyes that are quite unmatched to his little age in Gaga the little boy shouldered the sorrows of a whole nation, representing all the sorrows of China in that time. It also sings of the valiant spirit of the whole Chinese nation to resist aggression and protect our homeland.

3. The Horse Thief: a thief’s desperate struggle to make a living by low trade


The Horse Thief, the whole story tells of a man who steals horses to make a living, and when he gets a child he gives up this trade. However, when he cannot live on, he then returns to this old trade. It is an avant-garde film shot by Tian Zhuangzhuang in 1985. The film stresses the visual shock of the image and rejects anything that is non-image. As a film that reflects upon religion, especially in the scene of celestial burial, it cannot be understood in a Tibetan way but to approach it by dismembering a man within a religious context.

4. Kokohili: the desperate struggle of the man and the Tibetan antelope in wild nature


Kokopelli is one of the most excellent films in China in recent years. It is a neo-realism film with documentary characteristics shot by new-rising director Lu Chuan. The main plot of the film is about a correspondent who witnessed the birth and dissolution of the scientific inspection team of Kokohili. It depicts the harsh environment, the poaching, and protection of Tibetan antelope, life and death, poverty and responsibility. It is a story of people, the desperate struggle for existence and hopelessness. The audience will be deeply touched by a whole experience of life and death.

5. Ganglamedo: a love story that is sad and romantic


Gonla Meidor means snowdrop flower in Tibetan. The film tells a legendary love story that takes place on a snowy plateau, and the famous female singer An Yu, who was once popular all over the country for the song "Gangla Meiduo", quietly disappeared from the music scene after suddenly losing her voice and became a sound engineer, from a voice singer to a voice recorder and listener. Summoned by a Tibetan song and an illusion by the lake, she stubbornly traveled to the distant Tibetan sacred lake to find the mysterious song, recorded the heavenly sound of the Tibetan land along the way, and embarked on a musical pilgrimage full of mystery and unknown. Aza, the drummer with fantastic magic who walks with her, constantly clashes and frictions with her along the way, and the two have their own dreams and goals, and they are difficult to get along with and inseparable, but they do not know that fate of the two people has long been tied together by the name "Gunla Meado". It comes from director Dai Wei's deep interpretation and sublimation of women's emotions in the Far West, and Dai Wei, who is good at shooting MVs, has more ingeniously processed the film into the form of a musical film. The film not only has a romantic and sad love story but also perfectly presents the unique magnificent scenery and pure colors of Tibet. The solemn and mysterious Tibetan Buddhist etiquette and the rare Tibetan folk customs of the mainland people are all important elements of the film's fascination. The rare thing is the presentation of the ruins of the Guge dynasty in Tibet, which is the first time it has ever appeared in a feature film.

6. Dirlam: a documentary depicting the simple life along the Tea-Horse Road areas


Dirlam, the first documentary shot by Tian Zhuangzhuang in 2003. It is about Tea-Horse Road from Yunnan to Tibet. The film presents you a simple country life that is still undisturbed by urban civilization with its pastoral life rhythm and the breathtaking landscapes. The documentary greatly surpasses other geographical feature films on folk customs and characters, arousing the deep sympathy from every part of the world. The film could give its audience strength, a peace of mind and an ecstasy from your inner heart. The people here will not change themselves because of your praises.

7. The Samsara: a film reflecting upon religion and earthly affairs


This is a story reflecting upon religion, discussing whether man should enter into earthly affairs or into Buddhism practices. There are some classic sentences in this film. The first one is the last word of Master Dashi: To satisfy one thousand of desires or overcome just one of them, which one is more important? The second sentence is: if you apply your lust on me to Buddhism then you will become a Buddha.

8.Himalaya: a glance to the life of our ancestors


All the actors and actresses of the film are local Tibetan natives so it is a pure Tibetan-element film. The film tells the conflicts between the modernity and tradition, man and nature, value of life and spirit that appeared in the alternation of the new and old leaders. The director put it: the local custom and culture are gradually melting, if we make concerted efforts and shot this film, our next generations will have an inkling understanding of the life their ancestor once led.