In recent years, growing pressures from the outside world have posed unprecedented challenges for Tibetan nomads. Rigid government policies, rangeland degradation, and the allure of modern life have prompted many nomadic families to leave the pastures for permanent settlement in towns and cities. According to nomads, the world has entered duegnan — dark times.
Summer Pasture is a feature-length documentary that chronicles one summer with a young family amidst this period of great uncertainty. Locho, his wife Yama, and their infant daughter, nicknamed Jiatomah (“pale chubby girl”), spend the summer months in eastern Tibet’s Zachukha grasslands, an area known as Wu-Zui or “5-Most,” the highest, coldest, poorest, largest, and most remote county in Sichuan Province, China.
The story of a family at a crossroads, Summer Pasture takes place at a critical time in Locho and Yama’s lives, as they question their future as nomads. With their pastoral traditions confronting rapid modernization, Locho and Yama must reconcile the challenges that threaten to drastically reshape their existence.