Sing Me a Song
In his earlier film Happiness, French director Thomas Balmès followed the life of Peyangki, a young monk in Bhutan. Then eight years old, Peyangki was waiting expectantly in his remote mountain village for the arrival of electricity, which would bring something the whole village was looking forward to: TV. A decade later, there's a new innovation: the internet.
In Sing Me a Song, the director returns to visit Peyangki. He’s now 17 and still a monk, and just like all his friends at the monastery, he and his cell phone are inseparable. Even during prayers they're all continually using the phone. Peyangki has found a girlfriend on WeChat who lives in Thimphu, the capital city. He’s considering leaving the monastery, but online love has its downsides, too.
Like in Happiness, Balmès shows how TV and internet are changing the world. Until quite recently Bhutan was largely unaffected by the temptations of developments in the outside world, but now they keep coming at lightning speed. This calm portrait of Peyangki and his girlfriend Ugyen is a bittersweet look at screen addiction and the decline of traditions.