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directed by Pema Tseden

High in the desolate, windswept mountains of Tibet lives a shepherd named Tharlo. He tends his sheep and rides his motorcycle, passing his days in familiar and traditional routines far from the city lights. But when Tharlo travels to the city for an ID card photo and meets Yangtso, a modern young hairdresser, his monastic life will forever change. Leading Tibetan auteur Pema Tseden (THE SEARCH, OLD DOG) first wrote Tharlo s story as a novella. In adapting his spare and poignant short story for the screen, Tseden is at the height of his directorial powers, using just 84 meticulously composed shots to channel Tharlo s world into gorgeous vistas of black-and-white.


Television Premiere: September 4th, 2015 Venice Film Festival


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DVD Review: Icarus Films - Region 1 - NTSC

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Icarus Films

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 2:03:20

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.80 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (Mandarin | Tibetan)
Subtitles English (burned-in)
Features Release Information:
Icarus Films

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
 Q + A with director Pema Tseden at MomA, NY, September 28th, 2016 (39:42)
 Tharlo Music Video by Dekyl Tserang (2:09)

 Trailer (3:11)

24-page liner notes novella book with photos

DVD Release Date: February 14th, 2017
Cardboard Folding Case

Chapters 7





Tharlo is a fascinating example of minimalist cinema involving a character study of a simple man 's life upturned by a younger girl. He then decides to change his life for good in a very Jarmusch-ian expression. The visuals are brilliant - sparse, barren but beautiful and the performances are held-together with undeniable charisma.

It's an impressive SD image. Pleasing contrast - reasonably tight - depth is present. It's looks about as good as it can for this format and the presentation was strong bordering on exceptional. No artefacts, noise or flaws on my system. 

The sound is decent but not a huge part of the narrative. Unfortunately the subtitles are both burned-in and quite small - but the dialogue is another minor component ion the viewing experience. The disc is in the NTSC standard and shows the film in proper theatrical running time.

Tharlo is a sweet, realistic film interestingly exposing a culture so different from the west that you crave more. It exudes warmth and the pursuit of happiness. I loved it and will definitely revisit. I haven't heard that it will make it to Blu-ray although it is such a visual film it would seem a good idea however the market for Tharlo must be fairly small - deserved of a larger audience. I'm satisfied with the DVD - and I immediately placed on my 'keeper shelf'. Recommended!  

  - Gary Tooze

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Icarus Films

Region 1 - NTSC


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