Happiness web
Documentary

Happiness

Year 2013
Runtime 80 mins
Language Bhutanese
Subtitles Yes

In 1999, King Jigme Wangchuck approved the use of TV and the Internet in Bhutan, assuring the masses that this would lead to “gross national happiness.”

Eight-year-old Peyangki has never left his remote village of Laya, perched high in the Himalayan mountains with no electricity. In 1999, when TV and the internet come to Bhutan, Peyangki, eagerly awaits the arrival of the new technologies as a window to the wider world. After his father’s death, Peyangki is sent to the local monastery where he struggles with his new life stuck between two worlds.

Director Thomas Balmes (Babies) brings the audience into a changing world of striking beauty and drastic development through the eyes of this young monk. Following his journey from leaving the village for the first time to the thriving capital of Thimphu where he experiences cars, toilets and modern life, we see what it means for an isolated village to become connected. SUNDANCE, CINEMATOGRAPHY AWARD: WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY.

Countries

Finland France
Awards
Cinematography Award: World Cinema Documentary Sundance, Honorary Mention Sheffield Doc/Fest
Festivals
Sundance Film Festival 2014, HotDocs 2014, Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014
Director
Thomas Balmes
Producer
Patrick Winocour, Juliette Guigon, Kaarle Aho, Thomas Balmès
Screenwriter
Thomas Balmès
Cinematographer
Thomas Balmès, Nina Bernfeld
Editor
Alex Cardon, Ronan Sinquin