Workshop with Zhang Yang

After the screening of Soul on a String, the film’s director Zhang Yang had a talk with the young colleagues in the Damned Yard Theatre.

At the start, he spoke about Tibetan mythology and said that the folklore jewelry, which had a prominent role in the film, was given magical function, so these rocks became talismans, stone and iron from the sky.

Answering the moderator’s question about tackling time in the film, Zhang said that the film was based on a novel about a writer who was looking for his main character, and another shorter novel. These two stories are intertwined in such a way that it is not always easy to define the time frame – whether it is the past, the present or the future of the characters. He added that this kind of setting was supported by the fact that the people in Tibet even now wore old clothes, from the past.

Zhang said that Soul on a String was made in typical production circumstances for China, with a standard crew of 130 people.

When his film was compared to the work of Alejandro Jodorwsky, Zhang Yang said that, as with the Chilean author, this film depicted a spiritual journey. He added that the beginning and the ending of the film were connected just like reincarnation cycles were connected in religion, and that he wanted to achieve a different relationship between the causes and the consequences of events in the story.

In the end, Zhang said that his film used Western genre as a disguise for the story about a spiritual journey and that the scenery inspired him for selecting the particular film language.

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