Director: Tian Zhuangzhuang

China/ Japan. 2004. 110mins

Tian Zhuangzhuang’s (The Horse Thief, The Blue Kite and Springtime in a Small Town) portrays the Tea-Horse Road, a traditional trade route connecting China and Europe traversing the rugged mountain country from Yunnan province into Tibet. Much of this spectacular and treacherous trek is still accessible only on horseback. The documentary balances its strikingly beautiful landscapes with low-key interiors in which interviewees huddle over flickering fires discussing the religious and ethnic diversity of these regions, their unique understanding of horses, or what it feels like to be 104.

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