SAT 17 SEP | 4:00pm / Singapore Premiere
Tibetan with English subtitles
Director: Zhang Yang
There will be a post-screening discussion with the Director
Paths of the Soul chronicles an extraordinary journey by Tibetan villagers on a gruelling 2,000 kilometre pilgrimage to the holy capital of Lhasa.
When two inhabitants of a Tibetan mountain village decide to undertake a pilgrimage to the holy city of Lhasa, nine others, including a pregnant woman and a girl, join them. As they stoically endure harsh winter conditions, physical exhaustion and the numerous hazards on the road over months, the film develops into a stirring salute to their spiritual devotion and quiet determination.
This breathtaking road movie is filmed with non-professional actors and a non-scripted narrative, blurring the boundaries between documentary and drama to create a fictionalised account of true events, woven into an absorbing and moving tale.
Zhang Yang is one of the pioneers of the underground Chinese music video scene and can be ranked among the greatest of the new generation of Chinese filmmakers. After graduating in 1992 from the Central Theatre Academy in Beijing, he directed the well-known play Kiss of the Spider Woman. He made his first feature length film, Spicy Love Soup, in 1997, and won several prizes with it in China. Shower (1999) won an Audience Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and Sunflower (2005) won him the award for Best Director at the San Sebastián International Film Festival.
This film tries to look for the energy given by beliefs. It also allows us, non-believers, to think about our own spiritual lives. It reminds us to never lose ourselves. And on the road we started to look for ourselves, for our convictions.
We shot this film from an altitude above 4,000 metres. We were eating and sleeping on the road. We worked literally on the road. We had to live within extreme conditions, and these for us were more complicated than actually doing the film. Because this became our lives.
At the same time this film allowed me to find new cinematographic possibilities. It was a new research and discovery of film language. It’s a fresh start. I rediscovered cinema.