Kekexili: Mountain Patrol
China/Hong Kong/China 2004
Ga Yu, a journalist from Beijing, is determined to uncover the real story behind the mysterious disappearance of patrol volunteers, the cruel slaughtering of Tibetan antelopes, and the rumor that the Mountain Patrol cooperates with the illegal hunters. In search of the truth, Ga Yu joins a patrol headed for 40,000 square kilometers of wilderness. The illegal hunters are like phantoms in the uninhabited land, hiding in every cave, and tracking the patrol members like sinister shadows, waiting for the right moment to execute their fatal attack… the patrolmen have become the hunted. At first an observer, distanced by the lens of his camera, Ga Yu slowly becomes personally involved in the struggle. He gradually becomes aware that this is not just a regular patrol, but rather a journey about life.
"I wanted to make a film about survival. This film is based on the true story of the Mountain Patrol team in the uninhabited area of Qingzang Heights in Kekexili. But I also wanted to explore the events from the other side, from the standpoint of the poachers. I visited Kekexili several times while writing the script, and met with many real poachers. As a result, I now see them more as ordinary farmers rather than the brutal robbers one would imagine. Poverty turns them into slaughterers, killing the antelopes for only one reason – their own survival. We all come face-to-face with the struggle of life and death, but living in the city, where our basic needs are met, we rarely have to confront it directly. This is the reason I made this film – to set the record straight about the patrolmen and their journey, and to show people that ultimately, we are all involved in the struggle for survival." Lu Chuan
Production: Huayi Brothers, Taihe Film Investment Co., Ltd. (China); Columbia Pictures Film Prod. Asia Ltd. (Hongkong)
Screenplay: Lu Chuan
Composer: Lao Zai
Cinematographer: Cao Yu
Cast: Duo Bujie, Zhang Lei, Qi Liang, Zhao Xueying, Ma Zhanlin
Format/screen ratio: 35mm, Cinemascope, Color
Running time: 95 min., 24 frames/sec.
Languages: Chinese (Mandarin), Tibetan