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Watch From:MN
Ticket Prices
General Public:$13.00 (+ $2 online fee)
Members:$10.00 (no online fee)
Film Info
Premiere Status:Minnesota Premiere
Programs:Asian Frontiers
Family Drama
Asian Interest
Release Year:2019
Runtime:102 min
Print Source:Rediance Films
Director:Pema Tseden
Executive Producer:Zhao Xiaowen
Huang Xufeng
Pema Tseden
Zhou Maofei
Wei Jian
Yang Xianghua
Song Jia
Producer:Huang Xufeng
Jacky Pang
Cinematographer:Lu Songye
Screenwriter:Pema Tseden
Editor:Liao Ching-Sung
Jin Di
Composer:Peyman Yazdanian
Principal Cast:Sonam Wangmo
Yangshik Tso


How to Watch

Balloon finds Drolkar, the wife of a Tibetan sheep farmer, who is pregnant yet again, in violation of China’s family planning policies. Their faith dictates they keep the baby, but failing to abort it will result in a fine that will destroy the family farm.

Two children find a white balloon under their mother’s pillow. Unbeknownst to them, the balloon is a condom. Instead of high comedy, director Tseden examines the trials and tribulations of a family of sheepherders in Tibet trying to keep within China’s family planning policies. Already raising three children, the family finds itself in the crosshairs when the mother, Drolkar, becomes pregnant again, and the fines imposed for another baby are enough to ruin the family finances. However, their Buddhist beliefs tell them that the souls of the dead make a home in unborn children, making an abortion unthinkable. “[B]eautiful, funny and tragic.” --Variety

Director Biography

Pema Tseden

Director and novelist Pema Tseden was the first Tibetan to attend the prestigious Beijing Film Academy, and his films Old Dog (2011), The Sacred Arrow (2014) and Tharlo (2015)--which was based on his own novel--screened to great acclaim at prior MSPIFFs.