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Talking to the Air: The Horses of the Last Forbidden Kingdom

United States

Sophie Pegrum Director

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    In a harsh and remote region in the heart of the Himalaya, the Lo people of Mustang have depended on the horse for their very survival.

    Tibetan Buddhism is central and the Lo people tie their own karmic being to the lives of their horses.

    Pivotal to the film is the three-day Yartung festival where racing events pit the most bold village riders against each other and daring riders are said to be “talking to the air” as they careen along on their small, strong horses.

    With a new road and the march of globalization, life here is on the verge of massive change.

    With this dramatic visual backdrop, interviews with Mustang nobility, priests, riders and young Mustangis make “Talking to the Air” an important part of the stewardship of our historic and cultural memory.

    Authors and scholarly voices frame this portrait of a vanishing culture and the film also includes archival footage illustrating the covert operations of the CIA in Mustang and the Dalai Lama’s horseback escape to India.