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Critic's Pick

'Horse Thief'

May 19, 1996|Kevin Thomas

Tian Zhuangzhuang's (1986) film takes us into Tibet in the '20s--it might as well be antiquity--and presents us with a young clansman, Norbu (Tseshang Rigzin, who brings to mind the Toshiro Mifune of "Rashomon"), so poor he stealshorses from transients to support his wife and 5-year-old son, yet so pious he gives most of his profits to the temple. Tian follows Norbu's destiny with minimal dialogue and exposition, and with astounding images of natural beauty and the mysterious rituals of Tibetan Buddhism (KCET Saturday at 9 p.m.)

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