Tian TseringUnited Kingdom82 minutes2017Tibetan
Breathtaking visuals and a remarkable score instantly jump out as the most alluring qualities in the feature debut from director Tian Tsering. However, it's the thought-provoking plotline of Barley Fields on the Other Side of the Mountain that pulls the audience deep into the world of 16-year-old Tibetan girl Pema (Tsering Choekyi). Despite her inability to fully understand the political disputes between Tibet and China, Pema strives for freedom as she helplessly searches for her father (Samten Dhondup), who has been arrested by the authorities. The characters in Barley Fields convey the difficult realities of China's rule over Tibet, and ongoing unrest in the region. As she decides whether to abandon her life and follow her friend Choeden (Jamyang Choezom) over the Himalayas into the safety of India, Pema attempts to overcome her struggles in a fearless manner that fosters boundless empathy. Shot with a non-professional cast, Tsering's film highlights the complicated histories of Tibet and the experiences of its people in a way that inspires the forging of new paths.
HAIKUN (STEVEN) LIU