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110 Ratings


Directed by Pema Tseden
China, 2015


A Tibetan sheep herder goes to town to take a photo for his first identity card, when he meets a girl at the barber’s shop who changes the course of his life.

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Tharlo Directed by Pema Tseden
Throughout, the film works to give us a broad yet intimate view of a life, one that has been changed profoundly—in ways which are largely hinted, perhaps because the old ways can no longer be shown—long before Tharlo begins.
May 26, 2017
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Tseden says circumstance, rather than deliberation, motivated the new directions that the film seems to stake out: of the scripts he’s handed to the censorship bureau in Beijing, Tharlo happened to pass. But much of Tharlo might surprise fans of Tseden’s previous work: shot in black-and-white, with a surreal visual edge to compliment his comic-absurdist narrative, the director expands his style with confidence.
October 04, 2016
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The movie is shot in black and white, in often very long takes. The style calls to mind the early films of the American director Jim Jarmusch, but this picture does not emulate Mr. Jarmusch’s knowing sardonic tone. “Tharlo” instead opts for fleeting charm and shaggy humanism, until the narrative takes a grim turn that’s both trite and sexist. The bottom drops out of the movie, leaving its interest almost exclusively ethnographic.
September 27, 2016
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