Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

On a Tightrope

Year: 2006
Language: Uighur
Run Time: 70 minutes

On a Tightrope

Within communist China, religious beliefs are strictly prohibited. In an effort to unite the 56 nationalities in the country, the government requires students to reject religion and recite allegiances to Mao and Marx as providers of peace. Despite this cultural streamlining, the ancient tradition of tightrope walking-believed to have Muslim influences-still thrives within Xinjiang province, home of eight million Uighurs (China's largest Muslim minority). Petr Lom's ON A TIGHTROPE follows four children-studious Sarigul, pint-sized Jumahkun, fearful Abliz, and ambitious Aijamal-living in Yengisar State Orphanage as they experiment with this dangerous and extraordinary art form. Becoming an adroit tightrope walker is one of the few paths to a better life in China. Yet, training often requires these youngsters to abandon their studies and to risk their lives. Few respectable coaches, including former professional Mehmet Tursun, can afford to teach these orphans in dire need of role models. Through the reflections of the impoverished adolescents of Xinjiang, Lom defies government censorship and skillfully and touchingly documents the complex relationship between religion and government in communist China. (In Uighur with English subtitles) – E.J.B.

CIFF31 Screenings

Wednesday, March 21, 2007 at 7:30 PM

  • This screening has been cancelled.

Friday, March 23, 2007 at 2:15 PM

  • This screening has been cancelled.

Petr Lom

Petr Lom

Torstein Grude

Petr Lom

Petr Lom

Film Contact

This film is presented with financial support from MICHELE OWEN

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