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.




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

2. For screenings at ALL commercial cinemas, tickets are available at URBTIX till 5:00pm one day before respective screenings. After that, tickets will be available only at the box office of the screening venue on the day of screening, subject to availability.

3. Screenings at HK Arts Centre, HK Film Archive and Tai Kwun: For screenings that are about to start in 1 hour, all remaining tickets can only be bought at the box offices of the respective screening venues.

4. For the sold-out screenings at HK Arts Centre and HK Film Archive, a limited number of standing tickets are available at the URBTIX Outlets of the respective venues 30 minutes prior to the screening time. Seating is not guaranteed and subject to availability 30 minutes after the screening time. Each person can purchase 1 standing ticket. The availability of standing tickets is subject to change without prior notice.

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