Paths of the Soul

  |  Book Tickets: 28/08/2016
Rated TBC by the BBFC
Paths of the Soul Film Poster


Our Chinese section concludes with a stunning preview of this docu-drama following the journey of a group of Tibetans on a bowing pilgrimage across the world's highest plateau to Lasa, the holy capital of Tibet. Road movies are a staple of cinema but they are rarely as breath-taking, immersive and intense as Zhang Yang's ('Shower') fascinating docu-fiction hybrid. The director 'cast' a group of Tibetan villagers who were planning the traditional Buddhist pilgrimage to Lhasa - a sort of once-in-a-lifetime act of devotion akin to the Islamic Hajj - and structured a lose narrative around their incredible 1,200-mile journey. The reason it is incredible is not simply because of the distance - although it's worth noting that this is a major feat in itself, given the fact that it involves scaling any number of mountains in all weathers - but because of the very specific manner in which this sort of pilgrimage must be conducted, with each person kow-towing once every 10 feet. In the West, the term kow-towing has become synonymous with tugging your forlock, but the truth of the action is considerably more physically intense. The fact it was produced and approved for distribution in China is a not so minor miracle. This is a moving testament to a mutual devotion of spirituality, a fantastic and refreshingly benevolent look at a different culture. Blurring the confines between documentary and fiction, it takes the empathetic viewer on an incredible journey. (Subtitles) China 2015 Zhang Yang 115m Thanks to CineFile