チベット犬物語 (Tibetan Dog)
Kojima Masayuki | China/Japan, 2012 | 86 min | PG | TBD | Mandarin language dialogue with English subtitles
Friday November 16, 2012 – 4:30pm
A young boy named Jiantan has to leave Xi’an after the death of his mother to go deep into the Tibetan prairies and start living with his father LaGeBa, whom he can barely remember. His father is a busy doctor who had left the city for Tibet, where he is the essential physician of the poor community he lives in. One day, while herding sheep, he comes under attack, and a stray gold-colored Tibetan mastiff named Daojie saves his life.
Japan’s national angst about its role in the 21st century world may be subtle, but there is little subtlety about China’s enthusiastic nationalism and hope for its place in that same world. Probably the most internationally-visible and sympathetic example of this is China’s assertion of sovereignty over Tibet. Another is the strict controls over the importation and dissemination of media, such as film and television; foreign media companies, from Hollywood to Tokyo, have had to wait in line for any chance to reach a potentially rich and large audience. For the most part, they have waited for decades.
It is in this environment that the film was born. The first animation co-production between Japan and China, sanctioned by the Chinese government. The chosen topic, based on a bestselling book written by Yang Zhijun – a Chinese citizen – about a legendary Tibetan mastiff (a breed reputedly employed in war by Genghis Khan himself, fearsome in battle, feeding on the bodies of vanquished men). What fertile ground for conspiracy theories to sprout! But prejudice and supposition aside, TIBETAN DOG is a heart-felt drama worthy of famed anime studio Madhouse. Director Kojima who had previously helmed the sensitive drama PIANO NO MORI (WFAC 2008 selection), deftly handles the simple and effective storyline. Called upon to do character design is Urasawa Naoki, the fantastic mangaka behind MONSTER, 20TH CENTURY BOYS, YAWARA and MASTER KEATON.
All rights reserved (c) 2011, Zhijun YANG/The Tibetan Dog Partnership.