One reviewer simplistically called it ‘ a rich allegory for a nation torn between past and future.’ Others glossed over its clear political undercurrent. Yet, in more ways than one, Tharlo is an allegory for courageous Tibetans, like Tseden himself. Many reviewers have labelled Tseden a pessimist, and he has also stated that he is pessimistic about the future of Tibetans under Chinese rule. Yet, ironically, his creative work and vision reveals an optimist, one who steadfastly refuses to let one’s ‘voice’ be silenced or crushed in the face of brute oppression and censorship. And for that reason alone the film is a symbol of hope, grace and majesty; like a Tibetan mountain.