Soul on a String

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China | 2016 | 142 minutes | Zhang Yang

A compassionate Buddhist embarks on a mystical quest through Tibet, pursued by black-traders and a man hell-bent on vengeance. Along the way they encounter mysterious travelers, among them a loyal elf, a lovestruck woman, and a mute psychic.

"Visually stunning"David D'Arcy, ScreenDaily

Friday, June 2, 2017

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

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Dense forests, jagged rocks, rolling hills, and scorching sands are the backdrop for this mystical western set in Tibet. After a close call with a lightning bolt, a dead deer, and a compassionate Buddhist, ex-con Tabei embarks on a quest to deliver a sacred stone to the top of a fabled mountain. Once he completes this task, all his many sins will be forgiven. What he doesn't know is that Guori, a man hell-bent on avenging his father's death by a killer also called Tabei, is on the hunt slaying anyone of that name. Before their paths cross, each traveler attracts several quirky and mysterious followers, among them a loyal elf, a love-struck woman, and a mute psychic. This tale of parallel journeys dips its toes into several genres, blending aspects of the classic Western with epic fantasy, all the while paying homage to Tibetan folklore. Soul on a String shows its characters battling the harsh physical elements of nature as well as their own spiritual demons, constructing a portrait of vengeance and redemption as lush and sprawling as its surroundings.

Director Biography

Zhang Yang is a Chinese film director, screenwriter, and occasional actor. He studied Chinese literature in Beijing, where he later moved to the Central Academy of Drama from where he graduated in 1992. His first film Spicy Love Soup opened in Competition at Tokyo IFF. Followed by Shower, a realistic gaze at contemporary Beijing, that achieved great recognition internationally as well as in China, where it was successfully distributed. In the film Quitting, Zhang Yang gets even closer to reality: the film fictionalizes and re-enacts the real life of the main actor Jia Hongsheng, his struggle with drug addiction, his parents, fellow inmates in a mental institution. His next films, Sunflower, Getting Home, Full Circle, were a romantic drama, a road movie comedy and a powerful drama that travelled internationally to many festivals and were distributed with great recognition in China. Paths of the Soul has been shot over the course of a year in Tibet and has been released in North America, Japan and China after touring in numerous festivals. Soul on a String is his latest film.

Sponsored by WASA North America Group, Hainan Airlines

  • Original Language Title: 皮绳上的魂
  • Director: Zhang Yang
  • Principal Cast: Kimba, Quni Ciren, Siano Dudiom Zahi, Solange Nima
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: China
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 142 minutes
  • Producer: Li Li, Zhang Yang
  • Screenplay: Tashi Dawa, Zhang Yang
  • Cinematographers: Daming Guo
  • Editors: Yang Hongyu
  • Music: Zhang Jian
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Paths of the Soul (2015); Full Circle (2012); Driverless (2010); Getting Home (2007); Sunflower (2005); Quitting (2001); Shower (1999); Spicy Love Soup (1997)
  • Language: Tibetan
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Film Movement
  • International Sales: Asian Shadows