So, Summer Pasture is about a family of Tibetan nomads, the husband Locho, the wife Yama, their adorable unnamed daughter and a few families they live around in these giant tents that are about as big as my bedroom and go up in roofing height halfway. Takes place for three months sometime in 2007. Yama at the time had a two year old daughter, was pregnant three times but two of her babies died. The law says that you are allowed three babies maximum, and with her relatives having one baby, she can have another but her uterus is sort of swelling up. All the meanwhile, the entire family must get up at 4 every morning to milk a hundred yaks, infact, the opening sequence shows Yama gathering and spreading dung in a pattern and I had no idea why and I didn't want to know why. In this family, their neighbours are more and more moving to the town because a life of being a nomad is too hard. One of the first lines in the movie from Yama is that she wouldn't give up her life of being a nomad for anything, but I think she was kidding herself.
Now, thankfully the audience and I got to Skype an interview with Nelson Walker, one of the directors of the film. He was very nice and sometimes when you meet the person who made a film, it can seem better. I asked him if their daughter ever made it into education. He said "yes" so that's great. Good to know. It doesn't say in the documentary if she ever succeeded, but that's not really the film's fault because of the flow of time. Also, I don't know what I expected out of this film. My mom said it was about how the Chinese took over Tibet 60 years ago, but the Chinese are barely in this, except when Locho is fighting at some stand about paying 45, 43 or 42 pounds for something, and eventually the store worker says, "Fine, just take it." I shivered. With that sort of life where the only things they can really eat over the winter are butter, cheese and some sort of dumplings, it was no wonder the doctors said Yama was working too hard and not eating enough. Their life makes a life of being a movie critic and earning 24 grand a year seem luxurious and eventually after forty-five minutes, I was sort of interested on where this life would end up.
Normally, a documentary on a Tibetan life should be enough to make me forget for two hours that I have to make my bed, but you'd be shocked. My mind wandered throughout a huge chunk of the movie. But maybe that's because it was the sort of documentary where things happen as they go and for this sort of poor striving family, that's routine. And surprisingly, I didn't really leave the little theatre feeling wanton like The Departed or something like that. In conclusion, once again, I can't give this movie a grade.