On a Tightrope

Petr Lom, 74 min, Canada, Norway.

In an orphanage in the Chinese province of Xinjiang, children study tightrope walking. As Uighurs, China's largest Muslim minority, they carry on an ancient tradition. An intimate look into the lives of four Uighur orphans attempting the high wire, the documentary offers a rare window into everyday life in the region, showing the powerful hand of the Chinese government, which prohibits youth from practicing their Islamic faith.

As the children's story unfolds, the precarious nature of their existence comes into focus. The tightrope becomes a metaphor for their lives, as they walk the line between childhood dreams and harsh realities. As Uighurs, they must also find a way to preserve their culture while adhering to repressive Communist law - the most delicate act of all.