Facets Cinémathèque

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September 30–October 6, 2016

Chicago Premiere

(Ta luo)

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Film still: Tharlo


  —Screen International
  —Senses of Cinema
  —NewCity Chicago

Tharlo, from acclaimed Tibetan writer-director Pema Tseden (Old Dog), follows its eponymous protagonist, a shepherd with a remarkable memory, as he makes a rare visit to a nearby town to obtain a government-issued ID card. While there, he enters into a tentative romance with a young hairdresser that leads him to reconsider his austere, solitary existence.

Anchored by engaging, understated performances from its two leads, Tharlo is at once a deft character study and a philosophical meditation on the nature of personal and geographical identity. Its elegant, two-part structure reflects the fundamental duality of a Tibetan culture poised halfway between tradition and modernity, while Tseden's rigorous, geometric compositions, lensed in gleaming black-and-white, and masterful use of off-screen sound lend both its urban and rural landscapes a quiet, lyrical grace.

Based on his own novel, Tharlo is one of Pema Tseden's most accomplished works to date, a slow burn exploration of loneliness, marginalization and the quest for identity.

Directed by Pema Tseden, China, 2015, 123 mins. In Tibetan and Mandarin with English subtitles.


  • Fri., Sept. 30 at 7 & 9:15 pm
  • Sat., Oct. 1 at 5:30 & 7:45 pm
  • Sun., Oct. 2 at 5:30 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Oct. 3–6 at 7 & 9:15 pm
Buy tickets


$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation