Monday, July 10, 2006

Himalaya ****

Yaks, big mountains with no trees, different culture, and an exciting adventure to boot. I picked this up on a lark from the library and was surprised that I'd never seen this before. It was an Oscar nominee for best foreign film a number of years ago. It's the story of an old man, the chief in a Himalayan village, whose son is killed in an accident. The old man in his grief blames his son's best friend and a battle of wills ensues -- for the son's friend is the most qualified to take the son's place as the new chief and is best qualified to lead the yaks over the mountains to trade salt. But the old man will hear none of that and insists on leading the yaks train himself, along with a rag-tag bunch of others, over the mountains. It is a beautiful and at times nerve-racking trip, during which the old man and the young man learn a great deal about themselves and each other.

The fantastic cinematography really shines in this movie along with the inside view of a really different culture. People with a different culture and yet people beset by the same foibles of stubborness, petulence, and irreseluteness and blessed by the same strengths of courage, inventiveness, and kindness.

Check it out; it's a good one for a Friday night.

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