Directed by Pema Tseden • Drama • With Zong Zhi, Manla Jiepu, Dobe Dorje, Drolma Gyab, Lumo Tso • 2013 • 105 minutes
A director, his assistant, and a businessman drive through the Amdo region of Tibet, scouring small villages to find actors for their adaptation of the namthar of Drime Kunden, an opera traditionally performed for the Tibetan New Year, that tells the story of a prince-an early incarnation of Buddha-who gives away all his possessions, his wife and children, and even his own eyes.
Driving through the country's stunning landscapes, the crew meets frustration in their search for actors who can live up to the legendary roles. They find that while many of the traditions they would like to film have persisted, others are disappearing.
Directed by Pema Tseden, whose SILENT HOLY STONES was China's first Tibetan-language film, THE SEARCH reveals a contemporary Tibet where the ancient and the modern co-exist.
"This film uses perfectly framed long takes, from a largely distant yet intimately engaged camera...a masterpiece of understated emotional longing set against an urgent desire to preserve a disappearing culture."—Cinema Scope