Last Tuesday evening I was among an audience of around fifty to sixty at Columbia University in New York to see Saipulla Mutallip’s new documentary film, Qarangghu Tagh. Following a Q&A with the director we also watched his short feature, Bogha, which is an adaptation of a story by the Uyghur author Mämtimin Hoshur. Both films are really well made–anyone who has the chance to see either of them should do so. Independent documentaries from Xinjiang are practically unheard of: Qarangghu Tagh may well be the very first of its kind. And it’s not just ground-breaking in that respect: it’s shot in a part of Xinjiang that no-one watching the film is ever likely to be able to visit themselves. I can’t emphasise enough how lucky we are that Saipulla managed to get his camera up the treacherous roads and bring back his impressions of the place for us.
Here’s a trailer for Qarangghu Tagh: