Director: Tian Zhuang Zhuang
Runtime: 88 minutes
Country: China, Tibet
Language: Mandarin, Tibetan with English subtitles
Rating: PG13 (Some Disturbing Scenes)
Declared by Martin Scorsese to be the best film he had seen in the 1990s, The Horse Thief is both an engrossing, visually stunning study of tribal life in the remote Tibetan mountains and a sublime allegory of the contradictions at the heart of broader China. The film revolves around Norbu, a devout Buddhist shepherd is forced to betray his religion by stealing horses so as to support his family. When he is found out, Norbu and his family are exiled from their community. As they suffer the intense hardships of living amidst harsh landscape, Norbu decides to reaffirm his faith and gain re-admission into the tribe for his family. But when tragedy befalls them, Norbu’s faith is tested once again.