Tharlo (Shide Nyima), an innocent shepherd living a secluded life in the mountains, has been ordered by the local police chief to obtain an ID. Claiming, “I know who I am,” Tharlo doesn’t see the point of the document, but he reluctantly travels into town to have an ID photo taken. There he encounters a young, modern, and beautiful barber, Yangsto. Immediately smitten by her charms, Tharlo spends the night with Yangsto at the karaoke bar and discovers a world completely unknown to him.
Renowned Tibetan filmmaker Pema Tseden continues the exploration of the conflicts between modern and traditional Tibetan life he began in previous features Old Dog, The Search, and Silent Holy Stones. Shot entirely in black and white, Tharlo reveals in vivid contrast the simplicity of the countryside and the disorientation of a fast-changing small town.
Organized by La Frances Hui, Associate Curator, Department of Film, in collaboration with Trace Foundation. Courtesy of Icarus Films.