Tibet – In the Valley of the Golden Monkeys

Countries -People –Adventures
A film by Frank Sieren
45 minute documentary
First broadcast: Sunday, 19.01.2014, 17.15 on SWR
Ziri and Zhadui, who have both just turned twenty, live in the far reaches of Tibet’s mountains in a remote mountain village. Their families are simple farmers and earn their living through traditional agriculture: just like their predecessors they grow apples, grapes and walnuts. In the spring the friends herd their shaggy yaks onto the pastures which lie at an altitude of more than 5000 meters. The role models of the two friends are traditionally Tibetan and fashionably western: the Dalai Lama and Justin Bieber. Their pride and joy is a clattering, old motorbike. Together they take this motorbike on expeditions – as long as there is enough fuel in the tank. When the fuel runs out they collect rare mushrooms, sell these and then are able to afford to fill the tank.
However progress is catching up with this idyllic scene: in the neighbouring valley the Chinese are already blasting motorways through the rocks. This is putting their friendship to a serious test, because Ziri and Zhadui have different goals in life: Ziri wants to stay in his mountain village and take over his parent’s farm, whilst his buddy Zhadui is learning Chinese and is already dreaming about the big city.