Song of Tibet | Chicago Reader

Song of Tibet

Tibet is the real star of this old-fashioned melodrama, a riveting tale of fiery love and betrayal and Buddhist principles from veteran Chinese director Fei Xie (Black Snow, Women From the Lake of Scented Souls). A young woman returns to her hometown of Lhasa to visit and hears her grandmother tell the story of her youth as a serf in the 1950s and of the three men who shaped her life: the landowner's son in her outpost village who seduced her, the cocky herdsman she married, and the lama who enlightened her. Xie juxtaposes her flashbacks with scenes in the present that show the ancient bustling city still dominated by the palace of the Dalai Lama yet infiltrated by emblems of global culture such as a cybercafe, but these cutaways only disrupt the old woman's reminiscences. Still, everything is played out against a magnificent vista of high mountains, vast grasslands, and clear blue lakes—a visual feast that's neatly conveyed by Fu Jingshen's cinematography. 104 min.

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