The Cord of Life


QIAO Sixue

96 minutes | 2022 | Fiction | Mandarin and Mongolian | English Subtitles
Canadian Premiere

35th Tokyo International Film Festival—Nominee, Best Film, Asian Future Best Film Award

3:00 PM, SUN, AUG 13
Innis Town Hall

Screening + Recorded Q&A with Director

Alus is a Mongolian electronic musician, confused about what he wants in life. He also cannot bear to see his mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, living like a captive in his brother’s city apartment. He therefore decides to take her back to the grassland, in search of the home she yearns for.


As his mother’s condition worsens, Alus tries to stop her from getting lost by tying her to himself with a rope. The rope is like an umbilical cord that reconnects him to his mother’s thoughts, his  hometown and his native culture.


Alus gradually comes to terms with his mother’s traditional Mongolian approach to life and death, and eventually realizes that the rope he has used to tie his mother to him is just another form of captivity. 


As his mother approaches her final days, he cuts the cord that binds them, setting her free and  providing her with the love and dignity she truly needs. Meanwhile, Alus himself also gains a new lease of life.


QIAO Sixue was born in Inner Mongolia, China. After graduating from 3IS Ecoles & Formations  d’audiovisuel à Paris de la France Academy at the end of 2015, she worked at KOI Films Company in Paris and participated in dozens of short films. The Cord of Life is her debut feature. The project was previously selected by project markets including HAF Film Lab 2019. In 2022, the project won the Special Prize at the Project Market of Beijing International Film Festival.


  • Director: QIAO Sixue
  • Principal Cast: Badma, Yider
  • Producer: LIU Hui, HU Jing
  • Screenplay: QIAO Sixue
  • Cinematographer: CAO Yu
  • Editor: ZHANG Yifan
  • Sound: FU Kang
  • Music: URNA Chahar-Tugchi, Yider
  • Art Director: ZHAO Ziran
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