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Indiana University

Outreach

Video Lending Library

China

Program Title: the Horse Thief
EASC Code: CH-09
Series Title:
Region/Country: China
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: English
Subject: Movie & TV Drama
Program Type: Feature
Media Type: VHS
Director:
Producer:
Release Date: 1991
Running Time: 88 min.
Color or BW: Color
Program Abstract: "In the raw landscape of Tibet, a deeply religious man gallops headlong toward a deadly conflict between his responsibilities to his tribe and to his family. This painfully beautiful film is the tale of Norbu, a Tibetan bandit. Theft is his livelihood, but it is also his life: he shares his takings with his temple, and his tribe. The tribe, however, becomes profoundly angry with him for the impact his thieving has on the life of the community, and disciplines him in the sternest terms it can offer. When his family is shattered by death, Norbu swears off horse stealing and robbery, in a ritualized expression of grief and repentance. But poverty instantly looms. Norbu cannot seem to grub a living out of the hard rock of Tibet, and he must decide whether to return to the one thing he is really good at, the one occupation that holds promise of making him any money at all in what amounts to a feral economy. Going straight means starvation and want for his family, but stealing means giving the lie to a sacred promise. What is to be done? For a man whose life has been a cycle of acquisition and sacrifice of worldly goods, there remains one last sacrifice to be contemplated."
Data Entry Date: 2/21/2001