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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Movies
Paths of the Soul
    2017-June-30  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Starring: Yang Pei, Nyima Zadui, Tsewang Dolkar, Tsring Chodron Director: Zhang Yang

“PATHS of the Soul” follows an incredible journey by Tibetan villagers on a grueling 2,000-kilometer pilgrimage to the holy capital of Lhasa. As they stoically endure harsh winter weather, physical exhaustion and the many hazards on the road, the film develops into a stirring salute to their deep-rooted spiritual devotion and quiet determination.

Simplicity is very much the key strength of a film that blurs the lines between documentary and drama as director Zhang Yang uses nonprofessional actors and a nonscripted narrative to create a fictionalized account of true events.

There are distant echoes of a John Ford western as a group of villagers gather their possessions and prepare for a pilgrimage. A wagon of supplies is attached to a tractor and they take to the road like pioneers heading into the wild west. The pilgrimage requires them to walk three or four steps and then throw themselves to the ground, fully prostrating their bodies and kowtowing. Wooden panels adorn their hands, thick leather aprons eventually fray at the knees and a bump on the forehead soon becomes a mark of piety.

It is an act that is to be repeated every few steps along a journey that proceeds through biting winter winds and snow, along roads where trucks and lorries whizz past and even over water and rocks. When they arrive at one flooded road they continue as before, flinging themselves into the water and later drying themselves off.

Director Zhang and cinematographer Guo Daming observe their progress, maintaining as unobtrusive a presence as possible. The absence of music adds to the intensity of the experience, as if the director was inviting the audience to share the serenity and single-minded focus of the pilgrims.

There are incidents along the way that feel slightly manufactured, especially when their tractor is forced off the road by an accident. On the other hand, the moment when the pilgrims are showered with falling rubble feels very real.

The repetitive actions of the pilgrimage risk becoming monotonous, but Zhang works against that by involving us in the lives and motivations of the 11 pilgrims, led by Nyima (Nyima Zadui) and his elderly uncle Yang (Yang Pei). Pregnant Tsring (Tsring Chodron) gives birth along the way. There is also a death and a hint of romance. People have joined the pilgrimage to honor the dead, atone for their sins, cleanse themselves of bad karma or to pray for the happiness of others.

There are also some utterly charming moments when the pilgrims dance by the side of a river or help plough a kindly farmer’s field. Their joy in the simple pleasures of life and the sense of serenity achieved through the observance of their faith combine to make the villagers beguiling company along these long and winding mountain roads.

The movie is now being screened in Shenzhen.

(SD-Agencies)

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