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 Balmès 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 Balmès 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, Balmès tells a story of the impact of modern technology and the decline of traditions.