Balloon

A surprisingly funny film about a Tibetan family dealing with the Chinese One Child policy.

There is such warmth in this happy little family. They are sheep farmers, the grandfather, parents and kids all living under one roof. A lot of the humour comes from the fact this is obviously a very traditionally conservative culture, but the One Child Policy means sex is being talked about far more publicly than before. The weans are blowing up johnnies and trading them as balloons to the neighbours’ weans for their tin whistle. Nobody knows exactly where to look.

When the kindly old grandfather passes, a lama prophesies that his soul will be reborn into the family. This is a message of great joy. Even though the child will not remember their previous life, the father will be able to care for and look after the grandfather’s soul, keep him safe from harm, and return the years of care he received in a reversal of the parental relationship.

But the mother must deal with the practicalities of this pregnancy. They cannot afford the fine they will be charged for bringing this child into the world. So conflict enters their happy home.

A warm family drama with humour to soften the strife.