On a Tightrope (2006)

Movie


On a Tightrope (2006)

On a Tightrope is a heartwarming and beautiful documentary film with a grave backdrop. The documentary follows four children at a government orphanage in Xinjiang, China. The four are learning the ancient Uyghur tradition of Dawaz, tightrope walking. The children's struggle to master the tightrope becomes a metaphor for their lives, as they walk the line between being true to their cultural and religious heritage and the communist party's harsh demands for obedience. China's Xinjiang province is the site of one of the world's worst human rights violations; Muslim Uyghurs are systematically oppressed. Under the excuse of suspected separatism at least 10,000 have been imprisoned and hundreds have been executed. The situation in Xinjiang is comparable to the situation in Tibet. But without a strong leader the Chinese are more brutal when dealing with the peaceful Uyghurs, knowing the world pays little attention. On a Tightrope is the best documentary ever to depict the situation in the ...
Canada
Norway
IMDb   8.2 /10
Creators
Director Petr Lom
Information
Release Date2007-03-30
Runtime1h 14mins
GenreDocumentary
Content RatingTV-14 (TV-14)
Awards3 wins & 1 nomination.
CompanyCanadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Channel 4 Television, Estonian Television
CountryCanada, Norway
LanguageUighur, Mandarin
Hoji Abdullah
Hoji Abdullah
Self
Abliz
Abliz
Self
Aijamal
Aijamal
Self
Jumakhun
Jumakhun
Self
Sarigul
Sarigul
Self
Yasin
Yasin
Self

On a Tightrope

On a Tightrope (2007) is a documentary film by Petr Lom, co-produced by Piraya Film and Lom Films, in cooperation with the Rafto Foundation for Human Rights.


Synopsis

The film revolves around four children living in an orphanage in Xinjiang province, China. The children are Uyghurs, members of China's largest Muslim minority. Their dream is to become tightrope walkers, an ancient Uyghur tradition.

The children start learning to tightrope walk, but within a few months, they are judged inadequate by their coach. Now some of their dreams change: one wants to become a teacher, another a professional singer. One of them however, feels he is simply too small to be good at anything. Eventually, even the one judged most talented at tightrope walking, and the one who dreams of a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for tightrope walking, is let go by the unscrupulous coach who seems only interested in money.

One year later, a different coach comes to the orphanage. Through love and kindness, he turns the children's initial failure at tightrope walking into success. The film culminates with their performance on a high wire – without a safety net – in front of their entire home town.

Tightrope walking is in this movie a metaphor for how the Uyghurs try to balance between their Muslim faith and living in a communist state, where they are severely restricted in practicing their religion. This is the first film to ever document Chinese policy on religion in Xinjiang.


Awards

  • Won – Warsaw International Film Festival 2006, Watch Doc Award
  • Won – Chicago International Documentary Festival 2007, Grand Prix, Short.
  • Nominated – One World Media Awards, London2007.