Soul on a String

Soul on a String

Director: Yang Zhang

2016, China, 142 minutes

Language: Tibetan with English Subtitles


Program Notes

After discovering a sacred stone in the mouth of a slain deer, Taibei, a young Tibetan wanderer, embarks on a mission to bring it back to the holy mountain of Buddha’s handprint. His journey proves to be long and difficult as black market traders seek the priceless artifact for themselves, and two brothers – Kodi and Guori – seek revenge for the murder of their father. An obstinate woman, Joan, and a psychic elf, Pu, soon decide to join him. The trio’s earthly conflict is suddenly thrown off course by strange and mystical events.
“Blend[s]Buddhist spiritual elements with classic Western motifs….Chinese director Zhang Yang eschews the thrill of propulsive duels for a discursive allegorical approach, serving up picturesque visuals, highland-dry humor, and karmic plot twists….the standout of the aesthetically pleasing production is Guo Daming’s widescreen cinematography, which captures Tibet’s stunningly varied terrain of lakes, deserts and mountains with sweeping aerial shots, in dramatic tones of fiery reds and brooding umber.” – Maggie Lee, Variety
“In this panoramic masterpiece, Director Zhang Yang weaves a tale of revenge and destiny across the diverse lands of Tibet, creating a Buddhist Western of epic proportions…. Striking widescreen shots of ochre deserts and verdant landscapes help blend the lines between magic realism and
classic man-on-the-run format…” – Lauren Terry, Willamette Week
“…The film…takes you through a surrealistic world of magical traditions. With breath-taking visuals and landscapes, SOUL ON A STRING is undoubtedly a treat to the eyes.” – Gopika KP, Manorama Online