The Mosuo Sisters
2013 (80 min.) Color, DVD Mandarin/Mosuo/Tibetan, Subtitled
Two spirited daughters from China’s last remaining matrilineal ethnic minority are thrust into the worldwide economic downturn when they lose the only jobs they’ve ever known. Left with few options, Jua Ma and La Tsuo leave Beijing for home, a remote village in the foothills of the Himalayas. But home is no longer what it was, as growing exposure to the modern world irreparably changes the provocative traditions the Mosuo have built around their belief that marriage is an attack on the family.
Determined to keep their mother and siblings out of poverty, one sister sacrifices her dream of an education and stays home to farm, while the other leaves to try her luck in the city. From Lijiang to Chengdu, Jua Ma’s interactions with rich Chinese businessmen, lecherous gangsters, Tibetan monks, and fledgling pop stars lead her on a precarious path that pits her hopes and dreams against bitter realities.