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IDFA 2001

Switch on Bhutan

Tshewang Dendup, Alexis Bloom
Bhutan, United States
2001
24 min
n.a.
Festival history
Bhutan was the last country in the world to get television. It happened in June 1999. On that occasion, the King addressed the nation warning the people about the pros and cons of this great invention. So far, Bhutan has been a country that numbers more monks than soldiers, and that cares more for national happiness than the national product. But things could change quickly now. This reportage-style film introduces the people who became the first TV entrepreneurs in Bhutan. The almost ‘untouched country’, as it says in the introduction, has now been dug open all over the place to lay television cables and connections. And the ‘unspoiled people’ don’t have much time anymore for their children’s homework. Grandmothers even forget their prayers, because they are all watching their favourite channel. Being able to choose from 45 different ones, the nation is still trying to find the balance between modernity, its own traditions and the Buddhist philosophy of life.
Credits
Distribution
    Bhutan Broadcasting Service
    Bhutan Broadcasting Service
World Sales
    Bhutan Broadcasting Service
    Bhutan Broadcasting Service