7.2/10
674
12 user 6 critic

The Horse Thief (1986)

Dao ma zei (original title)
The story of Norbu, a horse thief, who is thrown out of his tribe in an effort to purge it of evil. Norbu repents after the birth of his son, but he is forced to steal again after the birth... See full summary »

Writer:

Reviews

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

WATCH NOW
1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Blue Kite (1993)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

On Dry Well Lane in Beijing in 1953, Chen Shujuan and Lin Shaolong marry. A year later their son, nicknamed Tietou (Iron Head), is born. The Party is everywhere: Mao's photograph, ... See full summary »

Director: Zhuangzhuang Tian
Stars: Tian Yi, Wenyao Zhang, Xiaoman Chen
Yellow Earth (1984)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

'Yellow Earth' focuses on the story of a communist soldier who is sent to the countryside to collect folk songs for the Communist Revolution. There he stays with a peasant family and learns... See full summary »

Director: Chen Kaige
Stars: Xueqi Wang, Bai Xue, Quiang Liu
Brightness (1987)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young man with magical powers journeys to his uncle to request help in fighting his sorcerer father.

Director: Souleymane Cissé
Stars: Issiaka Kane, Aoua Sangare, Niamanto Sanogo
Center Stage (1991)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Biopic of 1930's Chinese actress Ruan Ling Yu.

Director: Stanley Kwan
Stars: Maggie Cheung, Han Chin, Tony Ka Fai Leung
Comedy | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The movie is set in chaotic 1920's China, when warlords fought each other for power while Sun Yat-Sen's underground movement tried to establish a democratic republic. The movie tells the ... See full summary »

Director: Hark Tsui
Stars: Brigitte Lin, Sally Yeh, Cherie Chung
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This film travels through fantasy and reality as Ivens goes to China to capture the Wind. The film reflects the film maker's journey - from his first film on the wind (Pour Le Mistral)to ... See full summary »

Director: Joris Ivens
Stars: Joris Ivens, Henxiang Han, Guilian Liu
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the old days it was called hypochrondria, or black melancholia. Now, apparently, it's termed the Asthenic Syndrome. Whatever it is, Nikolai, a teacher of epicly indifferent pupils, has ... See full summary »

Director: Kira Muratova
Stars: Olga Antonova, Sergei Popov, Galina Zakhurdaeva
Gabbeh (1996)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An elderly couple go about their routine of cleaning their gabbeh (a intricately-designed rug), while bickering gently with each other. Magically, a young woman appears, helping the two ... See full summary »

Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Stars: Shaghayeh Djodat, Hossein Moharami, Rogheih Moharami
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In the first half of this century, young Li Tienlu joines a travelling puppet theatre and subsequently makes a career as one of Taiwan's leading puppeteers. During World War II the Japanese... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Tian-Lu Li, Giong Lim, Ming Hwa Bai
Red Sorghum (1987)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1930s China a young woman is sent by her father to marry the leprous owner of a winery. In the nearby red sorghum fields she falls for one of his servants. When the master dies she finds... See full summary »

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Li Gong, Wen Jiang, Rujun Ten
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Albert Brooks directs himself as a successful film editor with far too many issues that affects the relationship between him and his remarkably patient girlfriend.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Kathryn Harrold, Tyann Means
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Autobiographical story about the life of a poor family in the Taiwanese countryside during the 1940s and 1950s as the Japanese rule of the island ends and nationalist forces of Kwomintang arrive when the Communists take the mainland.

Director: Nien-Jen Wu
Stars: Akio Chen, Jun Fu, Yung-Feng Lee
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Daiba ...
Granny
Jiji Dan ...
Dolma, wife
Drashi ...
Grandfather
Gaoba ...
Nowre
Jamco Jayang ...
Tashi, son
Rigzin Tseshang ...
Norbu
Edit

Storyline

The story of Norbu, a horse thief, who is thrown out of his tribe in an effort to purge it of evil. Norbu repents after the birth of his son, but he is forced to steal again after the birth of a second son. Written by International Film Circuit <ifcplanet@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 January 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Horse Thief  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Number 1 on Martin Scorsese's top 10 movies of the 90s list, which he presented on a special episode of At the Movies with Roger Ebert. Even though the movie was made and released in the 80s, it gain traction in the US during the 90s. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Basic story competes with beautiful cinematography, Tibetan cultural immersion
5 December 2015 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

I found out about this film via Mark Cousin's well regarded "The Story of Film: an Odyssey", when he outlined some of the strongest features of the 80s.

The Horse Thief is a strikingly shot immersion into the unique, isolated and overwhelmingly spiritual culture of traditional Tibet, a country of snow laden plains and remote agrarian village life.

The nominal plot focuses on Norbu, a thief who is excommunicated from his tribe, to live in the harsh Tibetan hinterlands with this wife and child. Even his elders disdain him, and appear to show no sympathy for his crimes.

The tribe worships a local mountain deity for providence, but during an outbreak of disease many animals and family members suffer, some terminally. Norbu's family is allowed back into tribal society although his penalty is death, and there appears to be no alternative in the mid winter Tibetan snowfields.

The film's plot is almost overshadowed by the cinematography and focus on Tibetan civilization; their religious rites, celebrations, trading and working life all feature throughout. Parts of the "story" are presented as a dreamy montage of dancers, elemental images and Tibetan masks, with Buddhist themes of death and rebirth enacted by the cast, which is one of the exceptionally interesting things about the movie.

Its not really an epic film, and the actual scripted dialogue is pretty sparse, but worth seeing especially if you have a projector or similar large-screen display.


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Where did he get the story? wildsparrow
Discuss The Horse Thief (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?