Salt trader Tinle (Lhondup) defies his advanced years to lead a yak caravan across the mountains in a bid to prove to young herdsman (Kyap) that the old ways are still the best.
Travel writer and feature debutant Eric Valli is clearly in awe of the Dolpo region in the northern Himalayas, and respectfully empathises with the people who dwell there. But, while the stunning photography of this Oscar-nominated film (as Caravan) conveys this reverence, the physical hostility and visual splendour of the location aren't always enough to sustain interest. Sometimes it's just too slow, regardless of the culture being depicted.
Akin to a Nepalese Western, re-enacting a trek he's endured many times and taking each snowscape set-piece in his stride, Lhondup is a study in grizzled wisdom, and thoroughly merits this fondly poetic tribute.
If the story fails you, the visuals certainly never will. It's splendid stuff - but you'll likely leave the theatre wishing they'd had a few more things going on in the foreground.