Soul on a String / Pi sheng shang de hun

Soul on a String / Pi sheng shang de hun

Director : Zhang Yang / China / 2016 / 82 mins / Tibetan


Synopsis After discovering a sacred stone in the mouth of a deer he just killed, Taibei, a young lonesome Tibetan cowboy, embarks on a long and difficult mission: to bring it back to the holy mountain of Buddha’s handprint. His journey turns sour as an obstinate woman, Joan, and a psychic yet dumb elf, Pu, soon decide to join him. Not to mention the two violent brothers on his tale, who are on a revenge quest.


Direction Zhang Yang
Production Zhang Yang
Screenplay Tashi Dawa, Zhang Yang
Cinematography Daming Guo
Editing Yang Hongyu
Sound Yang Jiang, Zhao Nan
Music Zhang Jian
Cast Kimba, Quni Ciren, Siano Dudiom Zahi, Solange Nima


soulonstringdirDirector’s Biography ZHANG Yang is a Chinese film director, screenwriter, and occasional actor. He studied Chinese literature in Beijing, where he later moved to the Central Academy of Drama from where he graduated in 1992. His first film SPICY LOVE SOUP opened in Competition at Tokyo IFF. Followed SHOWER, a realistic gaze at contemporary Beijing, that achieved great recognition internationally as well as in China, where it was successfully distributed. Followed QUITTING. There Zhang Yang gets even closer to reality: the film fictionalise and re-enact the real life of the main actor Jia Hongsheng, his struggle with drug addiction, his parents, fellow inmates in a mental institution, and Zhang Yang himself like the ensemble cast. His next films, SUNFLOWER, GETTING HOME, FULL CIRCLE, were romantic drama, road movie comedy or powerful drama that travelled internationally to many festivals and where distributed with great recognition in China. PATHS OF THE SOUL Premiered at TIFF 2015, screening with great success in many international festivals including Busan, Rotterdam, Black Nights, Goteborg or HKIFF. The film was released in North America and Japan during the summer 2016.

SOUL ON A STRING, his latest film, premiered in competition at the Shanghai IFF in June 2016 where it received the Best Cinematography award.

Director’s Statement During the whole year of my stay in Tibet, I shot two films: PATHS OF THE SOUL and SOUL ON A TRING.PATHS OF THE SOUL is a “documentary-style” fiction film featuring unprofessional actors from Tibet. This film reproduces a thousand kilometres pilgrimage in a loyal way, while SOUL ON A STRING is a magical realistic film with a lot of innovative tentative on the narrative structure and the conception of the space and time. The two films are thus exploring two different forms of art. With these two films, I was researching the possibilities of the cinematographic language.