The Silent Holy Stones
Pema Tseden

The Silent Holy Stones

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A feature film by Pema Tseden
98 minutes, 2013. NTSC DVD

Tibetan, Mandarin, English subtitles. China

The place where the story took place is none other than my home village, where the mountains and waters have always haunted my dreams. I long to tell the true stories—in my own way—that have come up in my home village, to disclose the real looks of her, and to reveal the genuine conditions of life of the people there…a reciprocal infiltration between tradition and modernism. Pema Tseden

Pema Tseden (The Search, Old Dog) is the first Tibetan graduate of the Beijing Film Academy, and this is his dramatic feature debut. Made on location in a village in the Amdo region, the film follows a young lama assigned for Tibetan New Year to attend to the seven-year-old Living Buddha (tulku) of a mountain monastery. The young lamas try to balance their strict training with explorations of the outside world through the novelty of television, and make some surprising choices. Like all great neo-realist films, The Silent Holy Stones has the immediacy of a documentary, and Tseden delivers a compelling and intimate insider’s view of everyday life in his home town.

Filmed on location in and around Guwa Monastery, Amdo.


“A polished and enjoyable tale…delightful.” – Variety


  • Grand Jury Prize Changchun Film Festival
  • Best Director Shanghai International Film Festival
  • Golden Rooster Award Best Directorial Debut (China)
  • Official Selection Pusan International Film Festival
  • Official Selection Hong Kong International Film Festival
  • Official Selection International Film Festival Rotterdam
  • Official Selection San Francisco International Film Festival
  • Official Selection International Buddhist Film Festival

    Written and Directed by Pema Tseden
    Cinematography by Sonthar Gyal

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