Windhorse (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

Windhorse (1999)

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The story of Windhorse begins fifteen years ago high in the mountains of western Tibet. There, on a crisp autumn morning, a tiny village awakes. And three small children play at jumprope -- a brother and sister, Dorjee and Dolkar, and their cousin, Pema. But the idyllic scene is shattered by a sudden gunshot which takes the life of the children's grandfather. Abruptly, the scene shifts to present day Lhasa, the capitol city of Tibet, where we get a portrait of the threesome as young adults. The sister, Dolkar, has attracted a boyfriend -- a successful Chinese man named Duan-ping. With his help, Dolkar gets the attention of a high-ranking Chinese government official who can make her a recording star. It would mean money and security for her and her family. But her brother is totally disgusted. Dorjee spends his days with friends in a snooker hall and his nights getting drunk. We also see fleeting aspects of a Tibetan underground political movement in the person of Dorjee's old friend, Lobsang. Since their days in the village, Dolkar and Dorjee have lost contact with their cousin, Pema, who has become a Buddhist nun. In an early scene, Pema listens in disbelief as Chinese officials ban the display of photos of their spiritual leader, the exiled Dalai Lama. Within days, one of the nuns is arrested for defying the ban. Pema's anger and frustration leads her to spontaneously shout "Free Tibet" in the square in front of the central Buddhist temple in Lhasa. Immediately she is arrested and thrown in prison.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Paul Wagner Productions

Cast

Dadon
as Dolkar
Jampa Kelsang
as Dorjee
Anonymous
as Pema
Richard Chang
as Duan-ping
Lu Yu
as Du Han-Shen
Nima Bhuti
as Momola
Gorkyap
as Pala
Tenzin Pema
as Young Dolkar
Deepak Tserin
as Young Dorjee
Pasang Dolma
as Young Pema
Gelek
as Mr. Li
Tenzin Namgyal
as Duan-ping's Friend 3
Takna Jigme Sangpo
as Prison Officer
Thupten Choeyang
as PSB Officer
Sonam Wangdu
as Prisoner 1
Tsering Wangdu
as Prisoner 2
Kunga
as Doctor
Thupten
as Soldier 1
Rado Lama
as Officer
Sushil
as Immigration Official
Tsering Paljor
as Photographer
Tsering Dorjee
as Underground Worker
Tsering Yangchen
as Prostitute 1
Paga
as Studio Engineer 2
Lhakpa
as TV Grandfather
Dawa Dolma
as TV Grandmother
Chimie Tsering
as TV Father
Sonom Wangmo
as TV Mother
Nawang Thinlay
as TV Uncle
Norboo Tsering
as TV Uncle
Tashi Tsering
as TV Child
Tenzin Shera
as TV Child
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Critic Reviews for Windhorse

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1)

Wagner brings his fine documentarian's eye for detail to WINDHORSE, a gift for explaining the complexities of the situation.

Full Review… | April 5, 2003
Killer Movie Reviews

Celebrates the indelible spiritual impact of the exiled Dalai Lama upon the souls of his oppressed people.

Full Review… | March 3, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

This fictionalized drama (probably preaching to the choir) cannot be judged as other films for its entertainment value alone.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Wagner seems to forget he's making a narrative film and not a documentary--there's no consistent point of view other than his own.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Film Journal International

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