• 2019
  • China
  • 1h 42min
  • 12
  • Directed by: Pema Tseden
  • Cast: Sonam Wangmo, Jinpa, Yangshik Tso

In Pema Tseden's drama, a family struggles with weather, politics and life in general.

Performance times

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Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal (0.0 miles)

122A Highgate, Kendal, England, LA9 4HE
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Wed 20 Oct


Thu 21 Oct


Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre, Dumfries (0.0 miles)

Mill Road, Dumfries, DG2 7BE
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Tue 19 Oct


  • 19:30

Wotton Electric Picture House, Wotton-Under-Edge (0.0 miles)

Old Crown House, 18a Market Street, Wotton-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire, GL12 7AE
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Sun 31 Oct

Mon 1 Nov

(Qi qiu) Dir Pema Tseden/CN 2019/102 mins/Chinese and Tibetan wEng ST

Sonam Wangmo, Jinpa, Yangshik Tso

Tibet, 1980s: Dargye and Drolkar’s two boisterous youngest sons have blown up their parents’ condoms like balloons. Not only does this outrage their entire village, but more practically: they have no more condoms. The shepherd couple already have three sons, and as China has recently introduced its one-child policy, they can’t have any more. Once China’s one-child policy was relaxed in 2015 – now permitting two children per family – space opened up for films examining the often profoundly traumatic consequences of this measure. Tseden takes a drily comic approach to the subject here, captured in deceptively simple handheld footage full of implicit symbolism. In his world, there is no chasm between modernity and tradition; rather, the two gently rub against each other. With its cool colour palette, attentive handheld camerawork, and painterly passages that seem to transpire somewhere between this world and the next, Balloon approaches weighty themes with beguiling brio and a sense of wonder.

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