Screened as part of NZIFF 2005

Kekexili: Mountain Patrol 2004

Directed by Lu Chuan

This enthralling, superbly photographed ecological thriller tells the true story of a group of volunteers pursuing poachers across the bleak expanses of Tibetan wilderness.

China / Hong Kong In Mandarin and Tibetan with English subtitles
92 minutes CinemaScope / Colour and B&W

Director, Screenplay


Cao Yu


Teng Yun


Lao Zai


Duo Bujie
Zhang Lei
Qi Liang
Zhao Xueying


Sundance, Berlin 2005


This superbly photographed ecological manhunt movie has a spartan grandeur that’s thrilling. It tells the true story of the Mountain Patrol team, a group of volunteers, headed by a former army officer, who set out to stop poaching of the antelope that roam the Tibetan wilderness. Prized for their fine pelts, the antelopes came close to extinction in the early 90s. The hunt is relentless, and the patrol leader, grimly determined to face his nemesis, drives the men deep into the wilderness and up against conditions that are as lethal as the poachers’ guns. Director Lu Chuan pulls us into the action, scrutinising the weather-beaten features of these rugged men, then draws back to show us breathless chases across the stunningly bleak plateau of Kekexili. — BG

“Lu Chuan creates an aesthetic so powerful and stark, so aware of human impotence, that he actually transcends the obvious moral dichotomy between poachers and patrolmen and evokes a vastly more profound sense of struggle… a breathtaking, visceral meditation on survival.” — John Nein, Sundance Film Festival