Monday, February 18, 2013


Watched an intriguing film tonight: Kekexili: Mountain Patrol, directed by Lu Chuan in 2004. It's based on a true story (and in turn a documentary by Peng Hui) of Tibetan vigilantes who patrol the wilderness of Kekexili, trying to stop poachers from killing & skinning Tibetan Antelopes - reduced in quantity from over 1m to 20,000. 
The plot and acting is interesting enough, but the really amazing thing for me was the landscape. Kekexili is an extremely remote area the size of Scotland which straddles the borders of Tibet, Qinghai and Xinjiang in western China. Its bleak mountains and arid emptiness dwarf everything - the plot, the people, the antelopes, even the production (most of the crew became sick, one even died). 
Some good came of it, however. The Chinese government took note and turned it into a nature reserve, and the antelopes are on the up again.

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