Hoh Xil: Mountain Patrol (2004)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Rural Drama  |   Release Date - Apr 14, 2006 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - China, Hong Kong  |  
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Filmmaker Lu Chuan, who wrote and directed The Missing Gun, traveled to the remote border of China, Tibet, and Uygur, to make his next feature, Kekexili. Lu based the film on a true story about a reporter from Beijing, Ga Yu (Qi Liang), who traveled to the barren, frigid, high altitude region of the movie's title. Ga Yu had heard about volunteer patrols that were trying to protect the endangered Tibetan antelope from the poachers who were selling their pelts to be made into expensive, fashionable shawls. The cold-blooded murder of one of the patrol members at the hands of the well-armed poachers draws Ga Yu to a small village, where the leader of the patrol unit, Ritai (Tibetan actor Duobuji), agrees to take him out on a patrol, in the hopes that a story in the paper will spur the Chinese government to take stronger action to protect the animals. Ritai is determined to find the gunman responsible for slaughtering the animals, and for killing his comrade. His determination gradually becomes a deadly obsession. Lu shot his movie on location under dangerous conditions, with a cast of mostly nonprofessional actors. Though the film is from Mainland China, it won Hong Kong's Golden Horse Awards for Best Cinematography (Cao Yu) and Best Picture. It was also shown by Subway Cinema as part of the 2005 New York Asian Film Festival.