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Travellers and Magicians

Trailor below but a poor representation of the riches of watching this film. Incredibly this is but the second film by the film maker, Khyentse Norbu, and the first full length film out of Bhutan. It is absurdly accomplished considering.

The story is straight forward. A discontented man wishes to leave not only his village but his country, to a land of dreams. On the road, he ends up in the company of others making their way to the city, among a monk who warns him about dreamlands, saying that if you make it there, waking up can be quite unpleasant.

On the road, the monk begins to tell a story. This story is visually told in a richly saturated yet muted tone, and intercuts with the journey, as the monk continues the story whenever they stop for a rest. The story is so enthralling that it leaves you frustrated with the journey, only opening for another installment. This beautiful tension on two levels and the character development over time makes this film well worth seeing.

The narrative is not tricky or particularly surprising at any point but what you realize while watching this film is that being convoluted does not equate with depth. This first film out of a country with no history of cinema makes most of what comes out of Hollywood look childish by comparison.

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