This is a Nepalese film from 1999 made by Eric Valli, a NatGeo photographer, about a village of salt traders and their epic journey through the Nepalese Himalayas, as they take their wares to market.
The story concerns an old village Leader whose son has just died, leading the village without a clear Leader for the yak caravans that periodically go to market with salt for sale.
The villagers want a young man Karma to be the new leader, but the old leader Tinle suspects him of killing his son, to attain to that position, and disputes it, wanting his underage grandson to be the new leader.
The whole film is beautifully shot against the harsh background of the Dolpo mountains in northern Nepal, and is a story of passion and courage played out in the difficult lives of the villagers, who struggle even to survive.
It is also a story about traditional values and rebellious youngsters who have yet to learn why the old ways are important, as tradition embodies unspoken knowledge to guide the people through their difficulties.
This is certainly one of the most memorable films I have seen in a long time. There is a similar film I showed here previously called The Saltmen of Tibet, and for anyone enjoying this film today I also recommend they watch the latter.
The film is in French, but subtitles can be accessed from the settings.
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