Old Dog (Khyi rgan)

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Pema Tseden: Celebrating a Tibetan Voice, a retrospective

Photo Courtesy of Icarus Films

Photo Courtesy of Icarus Films

Part of the retrospective film series Pema Tseden: Celebrating a Tibetan Voice.


Old Dog (Khyi rgan)
2012. 88 minutes. Color. Blu-ray.

A family on the Himalayan plains discovers their dog is worth a fortune, but selling it comes at a terrible price.

The Tibetan nomad mastiff is an exotic prize dog in China, fetching as much as millions of dollars from wealthy buyers. When a young man notices several thefts of mastiffs from Tibetan farm families, he decides to sell his family's dog before it is stolen. His father, an aging Tibetan herder, is furious when he discovers their dog missing, and seeks to buy it back, setting off a series of events that threaten to tear the family apart, while showing the erosion of Tibetan culture under the pressures of contemporary society.

Pema Tseden's third feature is a humorous, tragic allegory and a sober depiction of life among the impoverished rural Tibetan community.

Followed by a panel discussion with Pema Tseden, Director; Sangye Gyaltso, Producer; Ying Qian, Assistant Professor, Columbia University, Department of East Asia Languages and Cultures; Tenzin Gelek, Trace Foundation (Translator). 


"Part neorealistic parable and part Jarmusch-like deadpan riff, Pema Tseden's sublime Tibetan drama focuses on a slackerish young man who decides to sell the family canine for some quick cash."—TimeOut New York

"Tseden's work is remarkable for shedding light on daily life in an oft-mythologized part of the world. In his films, Tibet isn't Shangri-La but neither is it just another part of China."—Steven Erickson, Sight & Sound

"OLD DOG is subtle and affecting film making."—J. Hoberman, Artinfo

"Has the look and feel of a documentary, which adds senses of urgency and immediacy to a tale that moves at a languid, but never boring, pace."—The Village Voice

"Raw and resolute."—Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times

"The most important independent Tibetan filmmaker now working in China."—Shelly Kraicer

"A beautiful, highly effective and moving statement about a culture in danger of disappearing."—James Mudge, Beyond Hollywood

"Spectacular!"—Leslie Felperin, Variety

"Perfectly incorporates the desolate living conditions of these outpost towns whilst magnificently capturing the majestic Himalayan scenery which surrounds them"—Patrick Gamble, CineVue

OLD DOG Trailer from Icarus Films on Vimeo.

Event Details

Sun 28 Jan 2018
2 - 3:30 p.m.

Asia Society
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021

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Free. Registration recommended
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