The Horse Thief

  • Dir: Tian Zhuangzhuang

  • 1986, Putonghua, 88min, DCP

  • Cast: Cexiang Rinzin, Dan Jiji, Daiba, Gaoba

Cited by Martin Scorsese as one of the best films of its time, The Horse Thief is a crowning achievement of the Fifth Generation of Chinese filmmakers. Director Tian Zhuangzhuang’s sublime drama is both an engrossing study of a Chinese minority people – the rural tribes of the remote Tibetan mountains – and a visually stirring parable of transgression and redemption. Tribesman Norbu dutifully abides by his Buddhist faith, yet has to betray his religion by stealing horses in order to support his family. Banished by his tribe and then beset by tragedy, Norbu decides to reaffirm his faith, only to have it tested once more. Using stark landscapes, meticulous cultural details, and a spare screenplay, Tian’s cinematic allegory examines the conflicts and contradictions at the heart of a rapidly-changing China. The restored vivid colors demand to be seen on the big screen and highlight the soulfulness of the film’s breath-taking landscape.

 

Screening:

Note

1. Unless otherwise stated, all films (except English-speaking films) are subtitled in English.

2. Screenings at HK Science Museum: There is no URBTIX Outlet at the venue. Tickets are available at URBTIX till one hour prior to respective screenings. Door ticket counter opens 30 minutes before the screening. Limited tickets to non-sold out screenings will be available at the door, subject to availability (Cash Only).

3. While it is the HKIFF’s policy to secure the best possible print of the original version for all its screenings, HKIFF will appreciate its patrons’ understanding on occasions when less than perfect screening copies are screened.