The journey on foot of a group of Tibetans on a 1200 km pilgrimage to Lhasa, the holy capital of Tibet. As the Buddhist faith requires, they prostrate themselves every few steps, making their long walk an act of utmost religious devotion.
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Taking part at this pilgrimage is a fascinating and sometimes meditative experience, underlined by the changing landscape during the months of the journey. Some shots are spectacular. Zhang Yang's way of being near to the persons without disturbing their daily routine is very intriguing.
A mesmerising visual and transcendent voyage through the life and death of all of us, really. It should remind us all that nothing is permanent. The walking meditation is a feat of a lifetime for them. Excellent.
I really liked the photography even if sometimes the landscapes don't seem very natural because of the satured light. The religious songs were haunting and very well used in the movie. But I would like to criticate this feel of time that we don't perceive very well in the movie. We see the distance, but the time isn't expressed that well. Maybe that was the point, to show that time doesn't exist in that kind travel.
The film portrays a lengthy Buddhist pilgrimage across Tibet, the pilgrims kowtowing every few feet on a variety of hard and rough surfaces. I was reminded of Ataranjuat in terms of the commitment of the actors - they really did this. There is so little added drama that it plays like a documentary for much (though not all) of its running time. The meditative pace and the scenery were enveloping. Quite informative.
This film really emphasized the intimacy of every day aspects of Buddhism. Zhang Yang expounded of the religion and what it entails by depicting the pilgrimage to Lhasa. The cold, desolate setting added volume to the themes of sacrifice, hardship, and altruistic coping. The director also used subtle but exceptional dolly shots and pan shots to remind us of the resplendent landscape of rural China.
Not many movies make your knees and bach ache, but this one can.
This is a movie about a group of very tough and humble people who won't give up on the way to their formidable goal. The lighting and of course the landscape - when we get to see above the road - are beautiful. The pacing, which is slow because it has to be, seems right.