A middle-aged Tibetan shepherd (Shide Nyima), known in his home province for a phenomenal (and completely useless) recall of Mao’s Little Red Book, journeys to a nearby town to apply for a government ID card. Sprucing up for his photo, he meets a young hairdresser, and their awkward romance presents him with a challenging new alternative to his simple, solitary existence in the mountains. Shooting in pristine black and white, writer-director Pema Tseden favors extended long shots and boldly composed frames, the space rigidly sectioned by posts, wires, mirrors, windows, and the like. As the hairdresser discovers, the shepherd can be maddeningly bland, his personality worn away by years of seclusion; for Tseden, the friction between the unlikely lovers is a metaphor for Tibet’s uneasy relationship with the People’s Republic. In Tibetan and Mandarin with subtitles.