Qi qiu (2019) - full transcript

A family struggles against the conflicting dictates of nature, spirituality, politics, and free will.

Our clouds.

Our sheep.


Here comes Dad.

Dad, sorry I'm late.

My bike broke down.

Don't worry.

You've had this motor bike
quite a while.

More than five years now.

It's wearing out.

Everybody's riding these now.

Horses were better.

True. We all traded
our horses for bikes.

You hardly see any horses
these days.

Times have changed.

No going back.
Om mani padme hum.

You two, come here!

They've been playing all morning
with those.

What are they?

They look strange.


Balloons are round. These aren't.

These are balloons, too.

That's why I couldn't find them.
You two stole them.

We didn't steal them.

We found them under your pillow.

Come here.

Never do it again!

Om mani padme hum …

You little devil.

Why did you break their toys?

They aren't toys.

They're not?
You said they were balloons.

Nothing wrong
with playing with balloons.

Why did you break them?

Dad, you don't understand.

- They aren't balloons for kids.
- I don't understand.

How are balloons not balloons?

Be quiet.

Next time I'm in town,
I'll get you colored ones.

They're more fun.

- Really?
- Absolutely.

Dad doesn't lie.

Grandpa's your witness.


Take some buns and go play.

Go on.

Dad, have some lunch.

I'm off.

Drive carefully.


Bring back the best ram you can.

Sure, Dad.

I'll get my buddy's best one.

Listen to me.

You lend me a ram every year.

I'm grateful.

We're friends.

Don't mention it.

Another round.


Bought some fine Dzakya rams
this year.

Really fine.

Rams from Dzakya. Really fine.

I'm drunk … drunk.

I'll do you right.

Later I'll send over a good ewe.

Om mani padme hum …

You brought the ram.


Great. He looks good.

Well done.

- Grab his horns.
- Ok.

Let me do it.


Careful, kids.

The other side.

Let me hold the horns.


This ram's really strong.

They say rams from Dzakya
are powerful.

So I've heard,
but I haven't seen one.

Big horns.

Really great.

Now we're talking!

Dad, did you get our balloons?

I didn't go into town.

I'll get them next time.

Bring me the new red apron.

We already have one.
Why do we need a new one?

A new one brings good luck.

Here, Grandpa.


That's the way.

Dad, like this?

Throw it away. It's dirty.

That's better.


Breakfast is ready.


You go first.


Let's have breakfast.

This is a fine ram.

He looks a bit like you.

I'm no match for a Dzakya ram.

Why did you grab that ewe?

I think she's barren.

She's quite docile.

So what, if she's barren.

Go mix some feed.

Fatten her up a few days.

We'll sell her
for Jamyang's tuition.

Jamyang's summer break
starts today?

Yes. He said he's coming home.


Let's boil some meat tonight.


The ewe seems to understand me.


What are you doing?

Doctor Sodra.


I borrowed a ram from my friend.

Pretty darn great.

We'll start mating him tomorrow.

Yes. He looks very strong.

True. He's really good.

I'll see you later then.


Is Dr. Druktso around?


What's the matter? Are you sick?

I'm just asking.


Ani, we're here.


How much?

Ten will do.


When wise men gather together

Reason becomes even sharper

Just like the four good companions

Sworn brothers in a famous tale.


What are you doing here?

I'm here

to pick up my nephew Jamyang.

Summer break starts today,

and I'm taking him home.

I know Jamyang.

He's a good student.


Come here.

Ask Jamyang to come here.


How have you been?


I see.

Why are you here?

Weren't you teaching
at another school?

I left the other school.

I've been here over a year.

You're wearing glasses now.


I can't see clearly

without them.

Ani, you're here.


Are you ready to go?


Let's go then.

Ani, how do you know
my teacher Dakbum Gyal?

We were high school classmates.

Wait a minute.

I've got something for you.

Let's go.

Aren't we waiting for him?


Wait a minute!

This is for you.

I wrote it.

Please look it over
when you have time.


They say he's an excellent writer.

He won a provincial literary award.

Many students are reading it.

Me too, but I don't quite get it.

You will when you grow up.

My teacher seems very unhappy.

Students are afraid to talk to him.

They say he came here
after his divorce.


Dr. Druktso's not here?

Hello Drolkar.

She left to see a patient.

She'll be back soon.

Didn't you say she was in?

Come in. Have a seat.
She'll be back soon.


Take this to the pharmacy.

Come have a seat.

What's the matter?

I'd rather not say.

It's woman's problem.

I treat women's problems too.

Tell me.

I'll wait for Dr. Druktso.

The world has changed

but you're still so conservative.

Then I can't help you.

Drolkar, you're here.

She's been waiting for you.

Why didn't you help her?

She said it's a “women's problem”.

and won't see me.

What's the matter?

Oh. I see.

- Let's step out.
- Ok.

What's the matter?

What's wrong?

I want to have my tubes tied.

I thought it was serious.

Why do you want to do it now?

It makes things simple.

No more worries.

You're not using the condoms
I gave you?

They're easy to use.

We used them up.

The kids took the last two.
They thought they were balloons.

It's so embarrassing!

You've used up so many?

That man of yours is quite a ram.

It's like he was young again.

He can't get enough.

He really is like a ram.

I don't know what to do.

Are you feeding him too well?

What do you mean?

How would I know?

He doesn't eat anything special.

Mutton once in a while.

Nothing special.

Mutton can be really potent.

Don't let him eat too much.

He loves liquor and mutton.

What can I do.

When can you tie my tubes?

Next month.

Some other local women
are coming

for the same procedure.


If you're worried,
let me give you a ring now.

It's safe.

A ring?

No thanks.

Wanggyal's wife lost hers.

Her little girl wore it
like a ring.

The whole village was laughing!

It's so embarrassing!
You still say it's safe?

- Really?
- Yes.

Then forget it.
They're not completely safe.

Anything else?

Can I get a few more
of those things?

What things?


The free ones.

At your age, you talk like a child.

I can't say that word.

It's too embarrassing.

We already ran out.

I'll give you some
when we get them.

Thanks very much then.

You're welcome.

Drolkar. Just a minute.

Take this.

Just one?

Take it. Just in case.

I kept one for myself.

You don't need it?


The world's first test-tube baby
was born here in Britain last night.

It is a girl in excellent health.

A beautiful, normal baby,
the doctor said.

The doctors hope that one day soon

she'll be just one of many
so-called “test tube” babies.

What are they saying?

It's about a test tube baby.

Om mani padme hum…


Live long enough,
you'll see everything.

Like scriptures say,
the end of the world might be coming.

Dad, that's nonsense.
This is science.

Science makes progress..
And you still talk about doomsday.

Science is making the world better.

All this science. People today
don't understand a thing.

Boys, shut off the TV.

Don't watch that stuff.

You turn it off.

Hurry up.

Ani, why have you come home?

We will renovate
the Assembly Hall this fall.

We nuns are collecting donations.

That's good.

So I've come home.

Very good.

I heard Jamyang is on summer break,

so I went to fetch him.

That's very good.

To spread the dharma.


we should make a generous donation.

Of course, Dad.
It goes without saying.

If we give more, so will others.


Have more.

We'll start collecting alms

Jamyang can help.

Jamyang has time.

And he will accumulate merit.

Tomorrow I'll take him
to light butter lamps.

I've been dreaming about Grandma.
She asks about Jamyang.



Let's go early tomorrow.

Yes, we'll go early.

We want to go too.

Ok. You can light butter lamps too.

Come back early.
There's a lot to do.



do you still have that mole?


We recognized you at birth
as the reincarnation of Grandma.

You have the very same mole
on your back that she did.

It's amazing.

It seems to be growing.

Show us.

I'll show you tonight.

That feels good.

Very good.

Good job..

Look at this.

This is a goat.

Here are two lambs.

This is a ram. This is a goat.

This is a lamb.
There's a goat.

There are a lot of goats.

Show us the mole on your back.

Come scratch Grandpa's back.
I'll show you.


What's this?

It's the mole
on your brother's back.

Grandma's reincarnation in the family
is a great blessing.

If Jamyang is Grandma's reincarnation,
what about us?

You haven't been recognized yet.

But you surely are
someone's reincarnation.

We'll be yours
so you'll love us more.

I'm not dead yet. Don't be silly.

You come and scratch.
Let me have a look.

The light went out
before I could see it.

Om mani padme hum....

May the Three Jewels protect us.

Om mani padme hum...

Children, let's pray.

Grandpa, what prayer did you use?

May the Three Jewels protect us.

Your reincarnation Jamyang
has lit lamps for you.

Don't worry. I prayed like this.

You didn't mention us.

I said: Your two grandchildren
also lit lamps.

That's what I said.


Push from behind.


Children shouldn't see this.


Have you seen my book?

I think the kids had it on the bed.

Look around for it.

What's this?


It's not for you.

What is it?

Here it is.

Your book.

What kind of book is it?

Do you know him?

Didn't he treat you terribly?

Why is his picture here?

He wrote the book.

He's a bastard.

I don't care who wrote it,
you can't read it.

If it wasn't for him,
would you be like this now?


Stop it.

Don't read this stuff.


What are you doing?

Quick, let me see.

You're burned yourself.

When I went to get Jamyang,

I bumped into him.

He gave me this book.

The story it tells

is about us.

I originally meant

never to see him again.


many things in this world

are inexplicable.

He said he had been transferred

to this high school.

He's Jamyang's Tibetan teacher.

This is terrible!

I can't let Jamyang
near a man like that.



Serve us some tea.

What's the matter?


Come in and pour the tea.

Om mani padme hum…


Here, Dad.



we want some tea too.

Have it inside. No more bowls.

Go on.

Ani, what's wrong?

Have you seen my toy car?


What are you up to?

Nothing. Just playing.

Come here.

Take some buns. Go out and play.




Will the dog attack us?

He won't. The chain looks strong.

What if it breaks?

What are you afraid of?
If it breaks we run.


Hey! What's up?

Do you want to trade
your whistle for a balloon?

- Where's the balloon?
- Right here.

- Your whistle?
- Right here.

What kind of balloon is it?

Blow it up, it's a balloon.

You blow it up.

Here's a balloon.

Your whistle?


No take backs.

No take backs.

Whoever does is a dog.


What are you looking for?

You know what I'm looking for.

Wasn't it under the pillow?

It's there.

Shangchu Drolma saw it today.

She asked me what it was.

How embarrassing.

You didn't hide it very well.

How could you let her see it?

It must be those two devils.

It's too embarrassing
if anyone sees it.

Never mind.

What's wrong?

Look at you!

Just like that ram of yours.

Are you excited?

A little.

Can't you wait?


I can't.

Hand it over.

This one.

Pull it over there.

Hurry up.

Pull it over.


Why give the sheep a bath?

It's medicine,
so they won't get lice.

Sheep get lice?

Yes, when they get hot.

Lice make them itchy.

Over here.

Hey, Dargye.

Can't you handle your kids?

What's the matter?

You don't know?


Blow it up.

Keep going.


What is this?

What is it?


We're all here together.

I've got something to say.

Last night our whole family
was eating together.

My son brought this balloon home.

Our whole family was embarrassed.

I don't know how to deal with this.

Even worse,

my dad asked my daughter
what it was.

She was mortified.
She missed dinner...

ran off,
and hasn't come back yet!

Dargye. You need to

keep these delinquents
under control.

Last time I went into town,

I bought a new whistle.

They traded this thing
for the whistle.

Get it?

Discipline these two or

I'll make you eat shit.

I wasn't involved.

What do you want me to do?

You won't admit you're wrong!

You're not ashamed,

but I am.


I can't help it if you're ashamed.

Ah la la.

You arrogant so and so!

I will make you eat shit.

Come here!

You come here!

Come at me if you dare.

Don't fight. Don't fight.

Don't fight!

Come at me if you dare.

Come up here.
Show your stuff!

You think I can't!

Come down!

Don't fight. Don't fight.

Excuse me.

Are you Shangchu Drolma's sister?

Who are you?

My name is Dakbum Gyal.

I'm looking for Shangchu Drolma.

Why are you looking for her?

I have something to tell her.

Haven't you hurt her enough?

Aren't you ashamed?

We misunderstood each other.

Things aren't as she imagined.

I want to clear things up.

Why bother?

She is already a nun.

What are your intentions?

I just want to explain to her.

Or else I'll feel bad.

You don't need to explain anything.

You don't understand the situation.

You have no idea.

It's my only wish.

Please let me see her.

She's gone back to the monastery.

You are Jamyang's teacher.

Do not lead him astray.


Yes. I am his teacher.

Don't worry.

I will teach him well.

Jamyang is a good student.

I see you wear glasses.

You look educated.

Don't be a bad influence
on Jamyang.



I hear

you wrote this.

I threw it in the fire

but Shangchu Drolma retrieved it.

I'm returning it to you.

Don't look for her again.

Go your separate ways.

I gave this book to her.

Keep it for her.

She doesn't need it.

If you don't take it,

I'll burn it.


don't worry.

I won't bother her again.

Drolkar, have you seen my book?


You really haven't seen it?


Maybe the boys took it.

We didn't take it.

What are you doing?

Nothing. Just playing.

What about Grandpa?

Grandpa's over there
with the sheep.

Don't hang around here.
Go to Grandpa.

Dad, are you going into town?

No. I don't have time.

We're taking back this ram.

If you do go,
don't forget our balloons.

Go help Grandpa.


Hold on.

Let's eat, drink,

and be happy.



Have some tea.


Have some tea, Dad.


Dargye, take this.

That ram was fine, wasn't it?


Really excellent.

Of course.

I paid a lot for him.

Yes. It shows.



Get the phone.


Let me tell you..

When the ewes give birth,
keep some males.

Your stock will improve.


I agree.


What's the matter?

Grandpa's dead.

What did you say?

Grandpa is gone.


Aku, when is the funeral?

Tomorrow morning between 4 and 5.

Don't cry.

Crying will hold back the deceased.

Dad, Grandpa's not coming back?

Keep chanting.

Om mani padme hum…



Why have you come?

We want to know where my father's
departed spirit will reincarnate.

What's his birth sign?


He will reincarnate soon.

When you go home,
invite a few monks to chant

"Sutra of Confession and Atonement"
and "Six Sacred Syllables".

This will help him
reincarnate into his family.

Our three children
are still young.

There are no other women
in the family.

How is this possible?

Can you doubt a lama?

Could the lama be wrong?

You didn't tell him
about our situation?

How could I.

Could I say: Lama, you're wrong?

Is the ewe eating?

Not much.


I have something to tell you.

What is it?

I had a strange dream last night.

What kind of dream?

I dreamt that this ewe

gave birth to a very wet lamb.

Here. Do it yourself.

You know how?



Come over here.

Oh no!

You really are pregnant.

Did it happen last time?

I'm not sure.

What are you going to do?

Get rid of it soon.

Earlier is easier.


You already have three kids.

You'll be fined
for having another child.

We women are not on earth
just to give men children.

Why struggle to have five or six kids
like we used to?

Look at me.

I only have one child.

It's easy on me,

my child can get
a good education.

Why have so many kids today?


Now what?

Where were you?

Where were you? Tell me.

I went to the clinic.

What for?

I'm pregnant.

Drolkar, where were you?

I went to the clinic.


Are you sick?

I had a strange dream last night.

So I went for a test. I'm pregnant.


Dr. Druktso said so.

The lama's words were true.

And we doubted him,

a lama who can predict this life
and the next.

It's truly a sin.

You thought so too?

Why else would you be pregnant now.

Dr. Druktso told me
to get rid of it.

Drolkar, I beg you,

you must not listen to her.

Do not do this.

Without accumulated merit,

the deceased cannot easily...

be reborn.

The deceased has selected
your body.

Rejecting his birth

will only bring him
more suffering.

Don't end up like me,

with a lifetime
of irredeemable sins.

Where are the kids?

Still sorting donations.

I came back for this bag.

To tell you the truth,

if you hadn't insisted,

I would never have let you
leave to be a nun.

Our parents passed away long ago,

When you went to a monastery,

my heart couldn't bear it.


Don't worry about me.

Right now,

I have no worries

other than the dharma.

You shouldn't be worried either.


I want to get rid of this baby
inside me.

What did you say?

I want to get rid of this baby
inside me.

You have no conscience.

You say this even though

Dad was so good to you.

It is not what I want either.

What do you mean?

I am only thinking of this family.
I am thinking of the future.

You demon.

If it was your own parents' reincarnation
would you think the same?

My parents died long ago.

I don't know where they reincarnated.

I never thought
you could be like this.

Sometimes, lamas don't reincarnate
right away.

What if the lama was wrong?

How can you doubt the lama?

How could he be wrong?

It's not yet 49 days
since his death.

How could he reincarnate so fast?

Grandma took a year to come back.

What do you know?

Some lamas return
before they die.

Some don't reincarnate for years.
Nothing's impossible.

Sometimes the dead feel worried
and return.

If you keep on like this,

you will suffer retribution.

I am only thinking of our family.

Stop making excuses.

I'll take care of the baby when
it's born. You don't have to worry.


We've sold one ewe
for Jamyang's fees.

How will you pay the fine
for the child?

Shut your mouth!

I was wrong to hit you last night.

I will never do it again.

Drolkar, I'm begging you,

please give birth to this baby.

If you give birth,

I'll quit smoking and drinking.

I'll listen to everything you say.




Dr. Druktso asks when
you'll have the abortion.

Dr. Druktso received more
of the free items.

She sent me to bring you some.

I'll put them by the door.

Help yourself.


Give birth to the baby
in your belly.

Grandpa always
took great care of me.

I want Grandpa's soul
to come home.

The mourning period
is over today.

Tomorrow I'll take my sister
to the monastery.

You really haven't seen
the book?

Stop thinking about it.

Everything in the book is false.

I just want to read it.

I might have misunderstood

I already burned the book.

I now believe

it's good you became a nun.

It's better than what I am now.

If I can, later,

I'd like to become a nun too.

If I were,

I wouldn't have so many concerns.

Forget these things.

I hope you can reject

all your worries.

Don't worry about me.

I am fine.

Work hard at school.


You won't become a nun like Ani,
will you?


Time to go.

Driver. Let's go.

Here's the sheep.

Good, good

It's here.

Come, come.

Get down.

Over here.

Bring it over.

How much do you want?

What do you say?

A little high.

I'll give you

this much.


A little more.

How much does he want?

He wants this much.

A little high.

Too pricey.

Wait a minute.

Help us get a price
in the middle.

How much?

The sheep's fine.

This much?


That's a good price.

OK. Come on.

OK. Deal.


We're done.


Let's go.

Time to go.

Go in and register.
I'm not going in.


- I have something to tell you.
- What?

I don't want to study.

I want to go back with you.

What are you talking about?

I don't want to study.

Say that again
and I'll be angry.

Don't worry about the family.
Just study hard.

Get in and register.

I'd like some balloons.

What kind?

Two big ones. Red ones.

Hey kids!

Dad! You're back!

You bought us balloons!

I did. I got you balloons today.



Have fun.

Bring the sheep back
early this afternoon.


Is yours bigger?

Yours is bigger.

Yours is definitely bigger.

Mine looks a little bigger.

Mine's a bit smaller than yours.

My balloon popped.

- Give me yours.
- No!

Come on!

- Give it to me!
- No way!