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Jinpa Image


Zhuangsi le yi zhi yang

Gateway | Gateway

Two Tibetan men, both named Jinpa, meet on a deserted road in the remote Kekexili highlands of Qinghai province. One (Jinpa, the name of the actor who plays him) drives a truck; he’s just run over a sheep. The other (Genden Phuntsok) is a hitchhiker, who explains he is on a 10-year quest to find and kill the man who murdered his father. Truck driver Jinpa, a wild-maned hyper-masculine figure decked out with permanent sunglasses, is obsessed with a tape of a Tibetan-language tango-beat version of "O Sole Mio." Jinpa the killer, quietly handsome, has the taciturn moral authority of a jianghu swordplay hero.

Jinpa is an extraordinary departure from the realist narratives that have made Pema Tseden celebrated at film festivals around the world. This new film is a fable, a Tibetan road movie, and a classic Western all in one. Its stylized photography, by the fine young cinematographer Lu Songye, juxtaposes lonely travellers against ageless, boundless scenery. And its tense, ominous rhythm holds the energy of an impending storm. There is even a saloon-style stand off, here in a Tibetan mountain teahouse presided over by a seductive barmaid/boss (Sonam Wangmo).

All this, erected on a blood-red scaffold, becomes a profound moral tale of cycles of revenge and redemption, inflected with fantasy and a profoundly dark sense of humour.
Shelly Kraicer

Best Screenplay, Orizzonti, Venice 18

Director Pema Tseden
Country of Origin: China
Year: 2018
Running Time: 87 mins
Format: DCP encrypted
Language:In Tibetan with English subtitles
Related Links: Trailer
Cast: Jinpa, Genden Phuntsok, Sonam Wangmo, Japal Tso, Dargye Tenzin
Producer: Wong Kar-wai, Jacky Pang
Cinematographer: Lu Songye
Editor: Jin Di, Chakdor Kyab, William Chang
Music: Lim Giong, Point
Art Director: Tenzin Nyima
Production Company: Jet Tone Films, Qinghai Mani Stone Pictures
Print Source: Jet Tone Films Ltd.


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