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Tharlo is a local curiosity: he has no real idea how old he is, but has a prodigious memory and can recite endless passages from the works of Mao. He lives as a goat herdsman in simple circumstances in the vast expanses of the Tibetan mountains and has an equally simple view of life's great moral questions. For Tharlo, there is right or wrong, black or white. Grey? No. His clear-cut view of the world starts to falter when he meets a young hairdresser who wants to get away from her grey environment: to Lhasa, maybe even to Peking. Tharlo's inner struggle reflects the conflict in today's Tibet, which is fighting for its identity in the modern world after six decades as part of the Chinese state federation.