Balloon, an inflated Tibetan fable

Pema Tseden belittles the one-child policy by delivering beautiful portraits of women.

From the first images of Balloon, we are seized by a malicious strangeness. It is at the height of children that we enter the heart of this Tibetan fable signed by the Sino-Tibetan filmmaker Pema Tseden. Two rascals look at the world around them through the distorted – and almost comical – image of a funny inflated balloon. On the screen, we especially perceive the snowy grain and blur on the edges, which prevents admiring a landscape that we feel majestic.

The two brothers watch their grandfather mend an animal skin, while their father disembarks on a motorbike, slaloming between the embankments of this immense Tibetan plain. It does not take long to understand that these rowdies have pilfered condoms from under their mother’s pillow that they took for balloons. Drolkar and her husband are raising three sons and their sheep here. To adapt to the one-child policy imposed by Beijing, the couple tries to learn about contraception. In this traditional community where the

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