Tibet, a country that finds itself at a crossroads between tradition and modernity, the rudimentary rural existence and the temptations of the city, is the subject as well as the backdrop of this strikingly beautiful fable.

Nicknamed “Ponytail” for the long braid down his back, quiet Tibetan shepherd Tharlo can recite the Mao Quotations in Mandarin by heart, but spends most of his time tending his flock, far from the trappings of academia or modernity. But when ordered to acquire an identification card by a local police officer, he meets a young woman who could change all that… but will she?

Photographed in arresting black-and-white, Tseden composed the film of only 84 meticulous shots. Beautifully acted by its performers, Tharlo is deeply political, romantic and philosophical narrative fable from Tseden, one of Tibet’s leading contemporary artists.