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