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  • Meaning "Beautiful mountains; beautiful maidens" in Tibetan, Kekexili is the relentless, harsh mountainous plateau in China's interior west just at the border of Tibet. Together with the splendorous scenery comes ferocious snowstorms and treacherous quicksand. It's these forces of nature that eventually brought peril to a troop of voluntary mountain patroller in the pursuit of poachers of the near-extinct Tibetan antelopes during the mid 90s.

    The story of the voluntary mountain patrol is told through a Beijing report who accompanied them through a 10-day quest to track down a band of poachers who kidnapped and murdered one of their men. Led by indefatigable leader Ritai, these volunteers from all walks of life shared a common passion, there fervent love of the lordly Tibetan antelopes and hence their furious hatred of the ruthless poachers. The intensity of this passion is brought home to the audience when they witness a scene of a mountain plain littered by hundreds of carcasses of skinned antelopes in the middle of being picked clean by carrion crows, and later reinforced by a similar scene, with the skin of these antelopes spread out to dry, some with crimson bullet holes.

    Filmed as a semi-documentary, Kekexili does not portray the patrollers as one-dimensional heroes as some Hollywood flicks might have done. We see them, during their red-hot pursuit, rough-handling a minor offender caught with antelope hair instead of cotton padding his coat and a couple of worm catchers who happened to have witnessed the poacher passing by. But these are minor, as we gradually come to understand that desperate for financial resources, as they were only semi-official and not paid by the provincial government, the mountain patrol resorted to selling some of the pelts they confiscated from the poachers. But the lasting impression left with us of the mountain patrol would be their humanity, their simple zest for life, their comradeship, their self-sacrificing spirit and their absolute dedication to doing what they believe in.

    Kekexili is a deeply moving account of a true story crying out to be told, and has won awards in Tokyo and Taiwan. It deserves to be seen by the rest of the world.

    * * *

    After the first screening of Kekexili in the Hong Kong International Film Festival (22 March to 6 April 2005), young, handsome director Lu Chuan answered questions from the audience in Putonghua and respectably fluent English.

    He explained that he was moved to making this film after reading the report of the Beijing photojournalist Ga Yu. The film took two years in preparation before filming, and was shot at the exact locations of the actual events. He said that in filming the story of the mountain patrol, he was not trying to provide an answer to what fuelled their devotion, but just to reflect what actually happened. On the minor questions, he explained that the five hundred odd carcasses in the film were not from killing antelopes (yes, that was the question!), but were actually from mountain goats that was the natives' normal food. And yes, he himself did try eating raw meat, as the reporter did in the movie, when offered a leg just cut from a rabbit freshly shot..

    Breaking of the story by the Beijing reporter brought sensational worldwide reaction. In response, the government took strong measures and formed an official force to stamp out poaching of the antelopes. The voluntary mountain patrol, having thus achieved its goal, was disbanded. The population of the Tibetan antelope has since increased.
  • From the director of The Missing Gun comes this powerful story of a journalist who travels with a small mountain patrol group as they track a band of poachers across the unforgiving lands of Kekexili, the last great wilderness.

    To say this film is great is a grave understatement as its uncompromising nature and cinema verite approach to story telling elevate it above all other films of the year. What this film does so well is connect you with the protagonists in a simple, yet very effect manner. Once the initial setup and character introductions are complete, the rest of the film is spent following them through the harsh wilderness. In doing so, Lu Chuan places the viewer in the same dire situation as the mountain patrol. We're with them as they brave harsh winds, freezing water, sun-baked plains, and treacherous, snow-covered mountains. We feel their anguish as they come under attack from seemingly invisible assailants. We sense their fear and pessimism as they struggle to survive in this breathtakingly beautiful, yet ultimately deadly landscape. All this to protect Tibetan antelope. The fact that they're willing to risk everything for this unseen animal says more about their character than any amount of dialogue. They do this without a paycheck and with the knowledge that they'll probably have little to no success. By giving the antagonist so little screen time, Lu Chuan is able to broaden this story and give it global context, declaring that attitudes and actions such as this should be condemned outright. It also serves to elevate the protagonists above ordinary heroes as it can be interpreted that they're not just doing this for the Tibetan antelope, but endangered animals everywhere.

    Kekexili is an enormously powerful film that should not be missed. This is far and away the best Chinese film of the year (better than Shi Mian Mai Fu (House of Flying Daggers) in every respect) and one of the best films of the year, period. 10/10
  • While I know I am biased and I will explain why, I still feel I should write and try and express the depth of feeling I have for this film.

    My brother, Alex Graf was a production manager for Columbia Tri-star Asia. He was returning from the filming location in western China when he was killed in a vehicle accident.

    OK, now you know why I am biased towards this film. That being said, this is a very powerful, visceral film. It is definitely not a feel good film and is, at times very hard to watch. The setting is in the western Chinese high desert. To describe the scenery as beautiful, breathtaking and desolate would be to massively understate it. What an incredibly vast, unforgiving, yet hauntingly mesmerizing landscape, and Lu Chuan takes full advantage of this. One aspect of the film that is unexpected, and demonstrates Lu Chuan's mastery of film making is that you expect to despise the poachers but somehow you end up understanding their plight as much as that of the patrol. If what I have written here still doesn't move you to see this film then see the film as see for yourself you will not be disappointed. Andrew Graf
  • Atavisten11 February 2006
    This strong and raw movie about the true case volunteer mountain patrol running after poachers getting rich by exploiting the Tibetan antelope, and bringing it close to extinction in the process, is the strongest and most moving movie I can remember in a thriller/action genre. Its hard to know what to call it as it has a more real feel than any thriller I know.

    Nothing comes in between the hunt for these poachers with no frills, the script is clear-cut and never sentimental. Everything happens quickly and brutal, something that also can be said about the fortunes of the mountain patrol.

    Based on a 1993-96 incident, Kekexeli manages to show these heroes as what they are, never becoming fixated on person (no "private Ryan") like it should be. Amazingly the story made it to the big screen.
  • 'Kekelixi' ('Mountain Patrol') is one of those quiet, quasi-documentary films that now and then rises out of nowhere and has such an impact on the viewer that it has the potential for creating some global change action. Written and directed by Chuan Lu from China and sponsored in part by National Geographic the film was distributed as 'travel/foreign places/environmental issues' product, and while it satisfies those designations, it resonates as a story that is not only based on fact, but one that opens our eyes to another way of life in a very remote area. The effect is stunning.

    A journalist from Beijing - Ga Yu (Zhang Lei) - travels to Tibet to investigate the poaching of Tibetan antelope and the group of unpaid citizens committed to eradicating the poachers and saving their beloved antelope. The leader of the mountain patrol is Ri Tai (Duobuji) and he has gathered devoted men who spend their lives selflessly searching for the elusive poachers. Ga Yu goes along for the search, camera in hand, capturing the magnificence of the mountains of Tibet, the men's camaraderie and commitment to their mission, and the fields of antelope carcasses left behind by the poachers whose only concern is to skin the antelope for their pelts of luxurious wool for the world market. The patrol encounters endless problems with their equipment, food supplies, loss of men to the poachers' guns, and finally capture a group of men (a family) who serve as skinners for the pelts. Ri Tai attempts to remain fair and non-violent, but his attempts are constantly thwarted. Ga Yu changes from a journalist role to a committed hunter and his relationship with Ri Tai and the other patrolmen is exceedingly touching. The ending of the film is as quiet as the Tibetan landscape and equally as impactful.

    The cast is not known to this viewer, but it is difficult to imagine that Duobuji and Zhang Lei are amateur actors, so profoundly moving are their performances. The haunting music by Lao Zai and the breathtaking cinematography by Yu Cao support Chuan Lu's film. This art piece is excellent on many levels and is one that deserves a large audience. Highly recommended.
  • I've been waiting for the screening of this movie for a very long time, and I guess I was really lucky that I was able to watch it at all, since there are only four copies being rotated in Germany. Considering the international approval of the movie, this seems quite ridiculous to me.

    Apart from that, I don't have to add much to the other users' comments, but it can't be said often enough how much energy this film gains, first from the not-telling-but-showing technique of the portrayal of its characters; and second, from the way nature is depicted as it breaks the will even of these strong characters. They become even more realistic because of the strong inner conflict which is aroused by the necessity of selling some of the confiscated antelope skins. All in all, the movie (re-)presents existential, universal questions at least as successful as the best westerns that I have seen.

    Adding to this, Kekexili is certainly also a must-see for anybody interested in the "Tibetan Question", as it shows life in the Tibetan highlands from a very uncommon angle: It's a Chinese view of "Shangri-La", torn between admiration of its spirituality and humanity and, on the other side, shocked amazement by its harshness and inhumanity. Generally, it's a universal approach independent of ideology, and that's never to be taken for granted whenever Tibet is involved (needless to say that this concerns the American or European image of Tibet as well).
  • Kekekili is a mountainous wilderness in Tibet, home to the Tibetan antelope - now an endangered species since their fur became a valued commodity in the west. In the early 90's a group of volunteers formed to protect the antelope from poachers, working with meagre resources in a hostile terrain. When one of the volunteers is murdered, a journalist from Beijing travels to Kekexili to follow the patrol and tell their story.

    Tibet is a country that many in the west have a very romantic image of - a culture and lifestyle as far removed from modern, urban society as any on earth. The reality of Tibetan life in the modern age is probably that it's tough, first and foremost.

    Kekexili is a simple film, telling the story with no bells and whistles or attempt to shoehorn in clichéd dramatic devices, or to make the characters fit particular archetypes. People and events are presented plainly as the patrol pursue a group of poachers over the gorgeous backdrop of the mountain wilderness, risking their lives to protect the endangered antelope - but compromising themselves ethically along the way too.

    The ending is perhaps a little unsatisfying, but I guess reality can be like that :)
  • It is the best Chinese movie of the year I have seen. I was shocked by the story and the presentation of the movie. It took me quite a while to get out of it.

    The movie talked about how a volunteer mountain patrol team fought against the poachers and protect the extincting Tibet antelopes. Due to the increasing demand for the leather and cashmere of Tibet antelopes, poachers drove the once 1 million antelopes to the edge of extinction (less than 10 thousand). A retired military officer volunteered to setup a mountain patrol to protect the antelopes and hunt the poachers.

    What is touching is not the survival or dying of the antelopes but that of human beings above the 4000 meters (over 12,000 feet) high land. Wind, snow and deserts took away food from people and they could not make a living. Lots of people turned to hunt antelopes for their own being. Meanwhile, the team members of the mountain patrol were fighting for their own life while hunting the poachers. The volunteers had no government funding, no food, and no weapons. They were at great disadvantage when facing well equipped, out numbered and brutal poachers. Without any alternatives, they had to sell the skins of the antelopes they captured in order to support their duties of protecting the extincting creatures. The movie presents the brutal facts right in front of you and make me hard to breath.

    The story was set in the period of 1993 to 1996, however, I highly suspect that it was an on-going cat and mouse game, and the situation of today may not be much better than what was described in the movie.

    Highly recommended.
  • Set in stunning scenery on the titular Tibetan plateau, "Mountain Patrol: Kekexili" recreates an extraordinary grassroots effort in the 1990's by supremely dedicated idealists to stop poaching of the Tibetan antelope -- mano to mano with no satellite phones or navigation equipment or much in the way of weapons.

    For all the thrilling nobility of the volunteers and grueling challenges they face from man and nature, the film naggingly feels like a propaganda effort supported by the Chinese government to show how it supports Tibetan initiatives (including a somewhat smug statement at the end that they have now taken over the protection job from the volunteers). I felt complicit in the occupation even as I got caught up in the film.

    Their struggle to save the antelope vividly recalls scenes of how the buffalo was decimated in "Dances With Wolves", though we get no inkling of the role of the antelopes in Tibetan culture, so saving them just seems either altruism about a rare animal, nationalism, obsession, stubbornness or macho independence.

    While we meet several of the volunteers in their isolated monitoring stations and frustrating chases who have a range of personalities and relationships, it is a bit hard to differentiate them other than by the vehicles they are driving or jewelry they're wearing. The exceptions are the patrol's charismatic leader Ri Tai (Duobuji captures the screen) and our entrée to this world, a Beijing-based investigative journalist with Tibetan roots (Ga Ju played by Zhang Lei who effectively communicates his transformation by his experiences).

    Whle the sense of swaggering male camaraderie is well captured in a military-like bonding of living, traveling and partying hard, they say the area's name translates to "land of beautiful women" and that's supported by the few we see during brief respites.

    In addition to the breathtaking scenes of the Tibetan plateau, better seen on the wide screen than on TV, in a range of extremely challenging weather and geographic elements (one scene in quick sand is particularly harrowing), the views of Tibetan towns and quotidian life in the mountains are an intriguing sidelight.

    The subtitles were only hard to read as white on white a few times, though a couple of times they lingered on the screen too long past a dialog, blocking views.

    National Geographic co-produced the film and has additional information about the film and the cause at their Web site (though for some reason IMDb doesn't consider their's the official movie site).
  • 'Kekexili' was completely different from what I expected. Well, honestly speaking, I didn't know what to expect so my expectation was built up from the Chinese movies I'd already seen and looking at the poster, I thought it was an action movie...but i was pleasantly surprised.

    This is one of the few movies today that show how simple film-making stands out. Technically speaking, special effects weren't overdone, background score was kept to a minimum, no unnecessary subplot and it sticks to the point.

    To sum up the plot, 'Kekexili' is about a group of patrols who are in search of poachers. We are briefly introduced into the lives of the penniless patrols, how passionate they are about protecting the endangered antelopes, their selfless deeds and sacrifice (yes, even their lives) and their strength and courage.

    Chuan Lu's direction is outstanding and he remarkably tells us this sensitive story. The actors breathe into their characters, making you forget that they are actors. Cinematography is fantastic and we also get the feel that the climate (snow, wind etc), the haunting mountains and the city are characters themselves.

    Being an animal lover myself, I was very moved by 'Kekexili' as a felt for all the characters and their passion and courage really touched me. However, I wouldn't say this is only restricted to animal lovers because 'Kekexili's about selflessly fighting with courage, honour and passion (without giving up) for something you believe in because the effort will not go in vain.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Filmed on location in some of the harshest terrain, Kekexili is a film for lovers of great cinematography, animals, the environment, and Tibet. I don't often give 10's for my reviews, but then I don't often run across a movie as great as this.

    Kekexili is basically a Tibetan western. The Tibetan Antelope have been hunted mercilessly for their pelts which bring good prices for poachers. A group of barely paid citizen volunteers get together and for about 3 years patrol the mountains to try and catch poachers. The men carry machine guns and give plenty of warning shots because their unsanctioned job is to fine or arrest, not to kill the poachers. This is admirable, considering the lack of support from most everyone else and the fact the poachers have no problem killing the patrolmen and do.

    A Chinese reporter from Beijing accompanies the patrol to various cold, barren locales in the mountains. Some of what he finds along the way seems contradictory to what he originally felt the patrol stood for: occasionally they sold the pelts they confiscate to get money for their provisions when they don't have enough money themselves(or if one of their number gets shot by a poacher). A great quote from the patrol captain was something along the lines of "Have you seen the prostrators on their pilgrimage? Their faces and hands are filthy, but their hearts are pure." Animal lovers will have a love-hate relationship with this film as some animals are actually killed. And the scene where the patrolmen find literally dozens of carcasses, stripped of their pelts by men and their flesh and internal organs by hordes of vultures, is difficult to watch. They haul the dead antelope bodies to a pit and burn them. The clacking of their bones as they are hauled over the earth is quite unsettling, like a deathly wind chime.

    For the most part, the Tibetan actors are amateurs, but it works unbelievably well. The landscape will take your breath away just as quickly as it did for the patrolmen when they began to get bloody noses from the high altitudes. The film crew had a grueling time with this film; one member was killed in a car accident. Unforgiving climates, harsh and unvegetated terrain, and miles and miles with no towns...it's quite a spectacle, like a frozen desert.

    I don't want to spoil too much of the plot, but don't look for a happy ending, unless you're an antelope.
  • nycritic31 August 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    There's a stark, haunting beauty within the land called Kekexili -- Tibetan for "Beautiful mountains, beautiful women" -- that threatens to smother the human drama being played out between the patrolmen risking their lives to preserve the antelope and the poachers who use their skins to create obscenely expensive scarves. No matter what the scene, be it a closeup of an action taking place in a river or a medium shot of vehicles traversing a barren, empty land, Kekexili is undoubtedly the main character in this gorgeous but bleak film, a hostile land that in one of the movie's most striking moments, swallows a lone patrolman whole when he makes the mistake of stepping over quicksand.

    As an action movie, only the first scene is really where the brutality ensues as antelope are systematically killed (right in front of the camera, which makes it a tad intense for anyone not used to these images) and the patrolman trying to protect them gets a bullet in his head. It gets quickly established from the get-go that these poachers are soulless individuals whose greed has led them to destroy the wildlife, which makes the plight of Ri Tai, a man whose life has been committed to the cause of the antelope, and Ga Yu, a reporter who gets involved in the case, more relevant even when everyone else gets blurred in the background and it seems that there will be no solution to this matter.

    KEKEXILI is a tricky movie to classify even when it's clearly grounded in thriller and action roots due to the overpowering nature of the place where it's set and its refusal to romanticize its two lead characters. If anything, it can be seen as a silent film, one that tells its story in mute yet powerful images, and in doing so, gets its message across.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Tells the true story of a volunteer force that tried to head off the depredations of poachers in some of the most remote and inaccessible parts of Asia. Although not strictly a Hollywood-style Western, this movie undoubtedly has a great many Western motifs, most notably the main characters' uneasy relationship with their environment. (They both seem to derive incalculable strength from it and are literally swamped/swallowed up in it -- the cinematography is superb and this movie demands to be seen on the big screen.

    Often quite grim, with various characters meeting bitter and rather unexpected ends. Solid and underplayed throughout, and an interesting look at how China views Tibet. Strongly recommended.
  • This film returns to the topics and aesthetics of New Chinese cinemas of the Fifth Generation filmmakers. There are especially strong connections to Chen Kaige's first film "Yellow Earth" (1984). The harsh, unforgiving natural elements in Kekexili (and in Tibet more generally) are both beautiful and harrowing, similar to the landscape in "Yellow Earth". The outsider reporter/photographer Ga Yu from Beijing echoes "Yellow Earth" character Brother Gu, of the Eighth Route Army, who is a visitor to the impoverished peasant family in that earlier film. Unlike the early Fifth Generation works by Zhang Yimou such as "Ju Dou" and "Raise the Red Lantern", "Kekexili" is set in very contemporary times and as such, the criticism of government policies and neglect is much stronger. In scenes of violence, the film's use of long shots and long takes is more powerful than the more common use of editing to extreme close ups.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    *CONTAINS SPOILERS* this is a great movie unbiased in its accounts of its characters. also one of the earlier comments was that the movies ending was bad script saying that why would the captain go up to poachers armed with a single rifle, knowing that these poachers have killed one of his men earlier. the war between the poachers and the mountain patrol have been raging for years. the captain at the end mentioned "i have been chasing you for 3 years". basically if he didn't go up to them at the end of the movie, he knew he would of never have the same chance of catching them again. so disregarding his own life and safety, he rather capture them and risk his life, then to let them go and wait countless years before another opportunity. I'm guessing its more of a pride/symbolic representation in the script itself.
  • Tafelberg19 March 2015
    If you have a taste for something non-Hollywood, and a liking for vast barren spaces, Kekexili (pronounced Cuca Seely) is highly recommended.

    It is part of the Tibetan high plateau, and the antelope on it have been poached almost to extinction. The patrol, all unofficial volunteers in 4x4s, track the poachers across the arid plains and snow-dusted mountains almost to the point of insanity. It's like an old- fashioned cowboy movie, with different scenery and a different flavor. Based on real events, it is very professionally done and holds one's interest right to the end. In Tibetan and Chinese with English subtitles.
  • This has got to be one of the most AMAZING films ever made, not only for the astounding cinematography, the quiet, subtle, yet overpowering drama, the incredible pacing of the story, the compelling character portraits, but also for very intelligently conceived cinema verite techniques. It is an extremely moving film, though it may be one of the most difficult movies I ever sat through, both the beauty and brutality are overwhelmingly relentless.

    Based on a true story, the film demonstrates a rare instance where Life is fuller, richer and more interesting than Fiction. The dramas that Hollywood feeds us pale in comparison to the colour of humanity and the depths of emotional courage portrayed in this film.

    It is a film to be experienced, and ranks right up there with classics like Nanook of the North, Das Boot, etc., please don't ever miss it.
  • The first reviews which drew me to watch Kekexili compared it to the great American "Westerns"-- so I'll start with the DIFFERENCES. To begin with, the Region-1 DVD cover shown here on IMDb is splattered with more red/ blood than you will actually see in the film-- OTOH, the Region-3 DVD cover completely gives away the ending. Talk about cultural differences in marketing strategy-- action/ plot vs. something worthy of repeated viewing?

    More importantly, American "Westerns" were generally made in 20th century about 18th-19th century, so even the most "gritty and hard-hitting" ones are full of American "romantizations" about a long-gone time and place. OTOH, Kekexili is a 2004 film about something that only happened 10 years ago-- so it is full of the kind of realism that even National Geographic may find hard to achieve (high-altitude cinematography with the sand and the cold cracking the film-stock, getting the locals to talk, etc.).

    IOW, fans of the American "Westerns" are not going to enjoy this film-- the chase/ action sequences are few, short and slow (you move too fast at high altitudes-- you die) and the patrol-men don't exhibit any modern or western sense of individualism/ heroism that audiences can cheer for. Even fans of the Discovery Channel may not know how to react-- there is very little narration to tell audiences what to think, very little music to tell audiences what to feel and very little slow-motion/panning cinematography for audiences to ogle at.

    What this film is, is a different kind of "docu-drama" (more Abbas Kiarostami than Akira Kurosawa)-- the kind where the director "pulls all his punches" with such minimalist scripting, plotting, acting, photography and editing, that audiences are denied any possibility of a cheap thrill (the "ah-hah" or "wow" from being given a back-story, message, climax, conclusion, etc.). This is where this film rises above the likes of "Himalaya" which tries to tuck in a conventional but awkward narrative-structure-- in the words of the director, it's very "cruel" to the audiences.

    I mean, talk about letting the subject-matter "speak for itself"-- it starts out with the premise of some high action-adventure, but continually "breaks" the pace to let the realities of high-altitude patrolling intrude.... And since we are mostly "embedded" with the reporter who speaks only a little Tibetan, very little is explained to us/ the reporter (the patrol-men aren't great "talkers"...). To improve the "immersion" factor or get a sense of the wonder and confusion the reporter felt, try watching the film without the subtitles for the Tibetan dialogue. Like a backpacking/trekking trip, you might have to think about what you saw or felt after you "come back".

    This film had a limited marketing and release because it didn't quite fit any of the "commercial" film genres-- but I'll be watching out for director Lu Chuan's next film about the Nanjing massacre (or "incident" as some Japanese call it).
  • Here is a film with serious technical and narrative flaws that can easily be forgiven because the movie gives us a wondrous gaze into a stupendous, exotic world, stretching far beyond what we have known or seen before.

    This is a docudrama based on facts about people who live on a Tibetan plain four miles high which shelters Tibetan antelope, a species that had been threatened with extinction in recent years because of aggressive poaching to harvest highly prized pelts. Poaching became a serious problem here in about 1985. After years of witnessing declining herds, the native people in the region in 1993 took matters into their own hands, forming their own mountain patrol to interdict poaching.

    The patrol served this goal admirably for a few short years, until 1996, when the increasing hardships of sustaining these efforts coincided with a government decision to declare the plain a wildlife preserve. The patrol was disbanded and, since then, the numbers of antelope have gradually increased, up to 30,000 or more at the time this film was made.

    The story is a dramatic reenactment of events presumably typical of the mountain patrol period (1993-96). Captain Ritai is about to lead a monthly tour of the region, a caravan of three SUVs transporting about 10 heavily armed men, and, this time, also a journalist, Gayu, from Bejing, who is accepted by the men because his father is Tibetan.

    Besides the vast flat windswept snowy plain itself, and the massive mountains that border it in the distance, we witness evidence of wholesale slaughtering of antelope (one scene shows the vulture-cleaned carcasses of over 400), armed clashes with poachers, several shooting deaths and injuries, severe cases of pulmonary edema from exertion during chases, and a death when quicksand entraps one of Ritai's men.

    The story, which begins strongly enough with the shooting of a patrol member by poachers, gradually loses the traction of credibility as Ritai seems to abandon any semblance of good judgment, pursuing the leaders of the poacher gang even as his supplies of food and fuel dwindle to the danger point, and attrition of his team from illness and injury mounts. So the story goes, the journalist Gayu was the only survivor of this particular patrol, and his subsequent stories published in the nation's capital were influential in bringing about government action to establish the preserve.

    Anyone with a thirst for knowing more about extraordinary and inaccessible cultures should rush to see this film, flawed though it is. You will see the reverence for life of these people, who take the time even to pile up hundreds of antelope carcasses to burn in a funeral pyre. You see the tender manner in which these courageous men embrace, knowing that the rigors of their mission may mean death before another meeting. You enter a remote brothel of the sort established in Tibet only recently as a byproduct of Chinese occupation. You discover that the men must pay dearly in cash to obtain emergency medical aid for patrol members who are ill. And there's more.

    Kekexili, by the way, means beautiful mountains and girls, we and the journalist Gayu are told. My grade: B 6/10.
  • For the record, Kekexili is part of Qinghai Province, not Tibet!There are heaps of Tibetan ethnic minorities in Qinghai Province and Gansu Province.The poachers mostly Hui Muslim from Hualong , Qinghai in which has its reputation for illegally manufacturing guns and give a headache to Chinese government . And the "breathtaking scenery" can be spotted in most provinces in western China (Qinghai, Gansu, Xinjiang,etc.),not only Tibet. Why would some hypocrites always set their mind on Tibet . Spare your worthless prepossession, leave Tibet alone, then you can truly understand this movie. All in all, it is a good movie. Simple, to the point , ruthless.The patrolmen are respectably stupid, yet exactly this Stu**NE*s has made this movie. But i have to say nothing important than human life! Riti is failed as leader and protector, he shouldn't rick bothers life when he clearly know they are outnumbered and ill-equipped. I feel sorry for the human more than animals. People who living in that area living a harsh life that they didn't create in the first place, it is basically desert due to the mother nature. Doesn't matter how you animal protector* thinks, it won't work for this situation as most of the poachers and ski8ners had no choice, they need to survive. The only measure to protect the rare animal in Tibetan plateau is to protect human, improve their living condition! Human- oriented principle is essential. Human there are struggling to survive, people gotta eat. If they can live a life with warmth and fullness, they will leave the animal alone.After all who would want to risk their lives of getting shot for smuggling animal fur?
  • A different kind of movie about a different kind of people in a different kind of country... Or is it? Absence of music, a depiction of harsh land where death comes for you in a blink of an eye and a portrayal of people who risked everything for "a bunch of antelopes", but unlike Hollywood heroes even they have flaws and same as the poachers they fight against, they all are, at the end of the day, just people like you and me.

    What I especially like about this movie is the absence of music, unnecessary drama or anything else to spoil the "real-life experience". You will really feel like you actually are inside the car that is falling apart as the patrolmen chase after the poachers as if nothing else mattered. Behaviour of the characters is beliavable and the usage of Tibetan and Chinese according to the situation also might be intriguing to a student of any of those.
  • Above all, I wanna say it's powerful and one of the best mandarin movies in the year. It's about extincting Tibet antelopes and a couple of people who want to protect these animals. The director leaded his filmmaker team into Tibet high land that without human being, they worked for a couple of months and finished it.

    When I watched the film first time, I thought I felt the smell of death. Especially the snowing scene, everything's white and snow could not stop falling. White represents death sometimes, I really saw a dying world. I was touched a lot.

    I heard about the American investor designed the film as a Chinese West film, just like American west movies. People fighting and shooting each other, Heros win and the poachers are killed. Certainly, the director refuse the bad idea. He's clear that he need a documentary movies not for pastime. It must be serious and heuristic . However, I still should point out the script problems. When the mountain patrol team captain found the poachers, he asked the armed poachers put down their weapon and confess to crimes. I'm confused for the captain hadn't been armed at all. I mean he should choose a better measure, he was facing a group of gangsters not normal citizens. So I think it'll be better if the screenplay was modified in a appropriate way. On my humble opinion, director Lu didn't exposure humanity deep enough for the script reason. But it's still terrific and two thumbs up.
  • 'Kekexili Mountain Patrol' is the true story of actions taken in the pursuit of, and against, antelope smuggling in Tibet in the 1990s. In its favour, the film contains plenty of stunning Tibetan scenery to view, and an interesting portrait of life in difficult times. On the other hand, the acting (from a largely amateur cast) and the dialogue (especially) is often rudimentary and poor. Also of note is that the judgement of the group leader seems absurdly stupid - he drives hundreds of miles into the wilderness, before calculating that he doesn't have sufficient food or fuel to get back! This film has probably been over-praised (if judged purely as an artwork) by those with affinity for all things Tibetan. If you like mountains, you'll love it: but don't expect to see too much else.
  • This is a touching movie based on really story of the antelopes protectors. I can't help noticing there are some people rated 1 for this movie just for political reasons, and what's ridiculous is from their comments you can see that these people have no idea of the Tibetan antelopes and kekexili at all, they just made this rate because they hate China and Chinese people. Therefore I'd like to share some information about the background of this movie: 1. the animal Tibetan antelopes are living in kekexili which is on Tibet-Qinghai plateau, but it's not part of Tibet but is part of the Qinghai province, which has very different residence races and religions, what ever that crazy head from free speech country said about Tibet has nothing to do with the protection of this animal in kekexili. 2. What caused the extinction of Tibetan antelopes? They were mainly living in China, Nepal and seasonally came to India in old days, then all the sudden the western fashion industry found out it has the best cashmeres in the world, and rich guys from free speech western countries paid big money for them, and created the dark industry line. The population of Tibet antelopes drops from millions to a few ten thousands in one year, those in Nepal totally extinction, only some left in China. So who is causing the sudden extinction of this animal? 3. The Tibetan antelopes were put in the list of national protection animal in China in 1980-1990s it is like panda, any kind of hurt towards them are crimes, and people who got caught harming them are facing up to death penalty in China, therefore no Tibetan antelopes where actually shot like what one of the 1 star rater said. Chinese hater will take any chances to assume the worst of Chinese people. 4. The story of the archetypal of the main character is actually more thrilling than in the movie, he faced with 19 illegal hunters and kept shooting until his last breath. And his murders are finally all been caught( or surrendered) a few years ago. 5. After the protection area of kekexili was officially established and China had a agreement with French, UK, Italy, India, Nepal to protect antelopes and end the industry, the number of Tibetan antelopes has increased up to nearly 0.3 millions by the year 2014.
  • I feel that the Director make this movie leaving high risk for his future career. The movie depicts inhuman act of Chinese poachers conquereing Tibetan Platue and Local peoples strong determination towards environment protection associates with sense of compassion for antelopes... this movie should be watch by Chinese authorities in tibet In order to curb the nasty acts of poachers prevail on the Himalayan mountains..
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