As the Internet finally arrives in tiny Bhutan, documentarian Thomas Balmès is there to witness its transformative impact on a young Buddhist monk whose initial trepidation gives way to profound engagement with the technology.

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STORY 

Young Peyangki lives and studies in a picturesque monastery deep in the mountains of Bhutan. A few years have passed since the king allowed TV and internet into the country, and now the structured daily rituals of candle lighting and recitation of prayers compete with the powerful lure of smart phones. Privately, Peyangki is passionate about love songs and falls in love on WeChat with a young singer from the city of Thimphu. Disinterested in study and often reprimanded by his masters, he sells medicinal mushrooms to make enough money to leave the monastery in search of “the one he dreams of night and day”. Peyangki trades in his robes for street clothes, but will he succumb to romance and the temptations of the city or return to his pious life in the monastery ?


press

“Thomas Balmès' profound documentary explores the ripple-effect ramifications of a seemingly positive invention perverting an unspoiled community.” - Variety


Credits

Director: Thomas Balmés

Cinematography: Thomas Balmés

Editing: Alex Cardon, Ronan Sinquin

Executive Producers: Jeff Skill, Diane Weyermann

Producer: Thomas Balmés

Production Company: TBC Productions, Participant Media, zero one film, Close Up Films, ARTE France Cinéma, RTS - Radio Télévision Suisse


Completed

Filmmaker: Thomas Balmés
Country: France, Germany, Switzerland
Year: 2019
Runtime: 99'
Format: HD

TIFf
 

festival highlights

TIFF 2019