This bittersweet narrative-documentary hybrid offers a precious glimpse into China’s Uighur minority. When not in school or looking after his sickly mother, young Isa spends his days wandering the fields with his best friend Kalbinur, with whom he raises a pet lamb. When Isa’s father decides to place his mother in a care facility, the lamb goes missing, and Kalbinur’s parents decide to send her away for a better education, Isa finds himself having to say many tender goodbyes. Wang Lina’s confidently evocative debut is a charming ode to her own hometown that speaks volumes about this marginalized community.
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