BY WANG Xuebo｜Drama｜92min ｜2016
Ma Zishan (Yang Shengcang) is an aging Muslim farmer, part of the Hui minority. He and his family eke out an existence farming on an arid moonscape in China's northwest Ningxia province. Forty days after his wife dies, Ma must perform a memorial service and invite his village neighbors to a feast. He and his adult son (Yang Shengcang, different actor with same name) make the difficult decision to sacrifice their aging cow for the service, but the cow soon stops eating and drinking, as if in anticipation of its slaughter. Old Ma tenderly cares for the animal, washing it and attempting to feed it; perhaps he sees something of himself in the loyal old beast. Both of them are approaching the end of their natural lifespans, as is the hardscrabble way of life that characterizes their village.