Paths of the Soul
PATHS OF THE SOUL (NC)
Director Zhang Yang. I 2015 I 115 min
Cast Yang Pei, Nyima Zadui, Tsewang Dolkar, Tsring Chodron, Seba Jiangcuo, Renqing Wangyal, Dawa Tashi, Jiangcuo Wangdui, Rigzin Jigme, Mu Qu, Gyatso, Dingzi Dengda, Suolang Nima.
There’s never been a road movie quite like “Paths of the Soul,” an extraordinary chronicle of ordinary Tibetan citizens undertaking a 1,200-mile pilgrimage to Lhasa. Much more than simply a long walk down National Highway 318, this act of Buddhist devotion requires participants to prostrate themselves every few yards while trucks and cars zoom past. Filmed in simple documentary fashion and performed with immaculate conviction by a non-professional cast, the pic, helmed by Zhang Yang (“Shower,” “Getting Home”) is a stirring study in faith and spirituality that will inspire many viewers to think about big and small questions of life. A difficult commercial path lies ahead, but fests everywhere will welcome this one-of-a-kind item. (VARIETY)
“A one of its kind journey for true believers… Nothing prepares the viewer for this sight. With Nyima driving a farm tractor that pulls a little wagon of provisions, the others take four or five steps down the paved highway before prostrating themselves on the ground. The ritual bowing includes an thick leather apron and blocks of wood to clap and protect the hands as the pilgrim stretches out on the road. This is repeated over and over, every few steps, for many months [until Zhang lets the stops out in a spectacular finale.” —Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
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