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Sing Me a Song

Twenty years ago, TV and the Internet were introduced in Bhutan. How did that work out? The young monk Peyangki is more occupied by his mobile than with prayer.

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Deze voorstelling maakt deel uit van Rialto Filmclub met als gastspreker deze maand Ernst-Jan Pfauth.

Sing Me a Song

In the sparsely populated mountain kingdom of Bhutan, wedged between Tibet and India, King Jigme Wangchuck decided in 1999 that his country should be ushered into modern times: television and internet were introduced. Ten years ago, French director Thomas Balm├Ęs visited the remote village of Laya in Bhutan for his documentary Happiness to see how these developments were taking shape. He chose the perspective of the then eight-year-old monk Peyangki, who was looking forward to the arrival of electricity, when he would finally be able to watch TV.

Now Balm├Ęs has returned to focus his camera on Peyangki once again. The now 18-year-old boy is still a monk, but one who is more interested in his smartphone than in prayer and meditation. And he is not alone: all his friends in the monastery are constantly staring at their screens. In Sing Me a Song, Balm├Ęs tells a story of the impact of modern technology and the decline of traditions.


de Volkskrant