BBFC RatingBalloon

Showing: 17 October 2021 until 19 October 2021

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DirectorPema Tseden
WritersPema Tseden
Running Time1HR 42MINS
Extra InfoSubtitled
SeasonMain Programme

The Tibetan plateau in the 1980s. No more condoms. No more children allowed. No easy answers. A lyrical and beguiling film from one of the world’s finest directors.

A Tibetan sheepherding family struggle against the conflicting dictates of nature, faith, politics and free will. When Drolkar’s two boisterous youngest sons blow up the household’s few remaining condoms, mistaking them for balloons, she’s left with an impossible decision. China has just introduced its One Child Policy and with three children already, there’s no way she can have another. But her husband, Dargye, is still as horny as one of his prize rams...

Director Pema Tseden deftly balances his challenging subject matter with moments of gentle humour and great tenderness. With its cool colour palette, attentive handheld camerawork, and painterly passages that seem to transpire somewhere between this world and the next, Balloon approaches its weighty themes with a sense of wonder and features scene-stealing performances from the two young boys.

The screening on Monday 18 October will be followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with director Pema Tseden chaired by Dr. Victor Fan, Reader in Film Studies at King’s College, London. The interview is conducted in Mandarin and will have English subtitles.

"Spiritual and transformative...tranquillity, playfulness and a touch of melancholy becomes the evocative thread that runs through this leisurely film where opposing doctrines are explored in a fascinating, non-didactic fashion - ★★★★" - Phuong Le, The Guardian

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