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Members Only: Kekexili: Mountain Patrol

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1517 West Fullerton Avenue

Chicago, IL 60614

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You're invited to an exclusive Members Only screening of Lu Chuan's Kekexili: Mountain Patrol.

The screening will be preceded by a reception and followed by a discussion led by Facets Cinémathèque Film Program Director, Charles Coleman.

Kekexili is a vast region on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and is currently the largest Chinese natural preserve. But towards the end of the 20th century, poachers went berserk and reduced the numbers of Tibetan antelope (chiru) from about two million to below ten thousand. A volunteer mountain patrol tried to stop them and in 1996 Ga Yu (Zhang Lei), a Beijing journalist, took part in a seventeen-day expedition to fight the poachers. Subsequently, he wrote an article which played a fundamental role in changing the government’s approach to the problem. Based on actual events which took place in 1993-96, this para-documentary captures the journalist’s travels with the Tibetan patrol, led by their experienced and legendary leader Ritai.

Filmmaker Lu Chuan (The Missing Gun, City of Life and Death) combines western elements with austere footage of a dangerous and difficult journey under harsh climatic conditions at altitudes approaching 5,000 meters. The Kekexili nature reserve is huge yet sparsely beautiful, as Lu Chuan's mastery of filmmaking leads you to despise the poachers but somehow you end up understanding their plight as much as that of the patrol, in this exciting tale of brotherhood, danger, and antelopes in the mountains of Tibet.

Directed by Lu Chuan, China/Hong Kong, 2004, 90 mins. In Mandarin and Tibetan with English subtitles.

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1517 West Fullerton Avenue

Chicago, IL 60614

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