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5 good reasons to go and watch a movie at the cinema

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In theaters from April 30 with Officine UBU, Once Upon a Time in Bhutan is a comedic tale of the country’s first and last elections connected to the Internet and television. We explain why you shouldn’t miss it.

In a rural village in Bhutan, the outbreak of modernity, in the form of a transition from monarchy to democracy, creates chaos: a husband and wife argue, a man goes to town on a mission that could put him at odds with justice, an old lama asks a monk to supply him with weapons. It happens in the second act Bao Chuening DorjeTitled Once upon a time in Bhutan It is distributed in Italy by Officine UBU. Showing in theaters from April 30, the film has the poetry of a fairy tale but tells a true story, taking us to a remote corner of the world that lives to rhythms far removed from the madness of Western societies.

We liked it very much Once upon a time in Bhutan There are several reasons why we recommend going to see it. We have chosen five, which seem to us the most important.

Director Bao Chuening Dorji

Once upon a time in Bhutan It bears the signature of a director of notable merit, who in 2022 was nominated for an Academy Award for his first work Lunana: The village at the end of the world. Let’s talk about Bao Chuening Dorje (Pictured below), by the way, he is the youngest recipient of the Royal Order of Bhutan. Lunana, which was also the first Bhutanese film to enter the Oscar race, took the director and his light crew to a remote mountain where a small human settlement had chosen to settle. To get to it, it took entire days of trekking at very high altitudes and there wasn’t even electricity there, which was a good thing, because the strong theme of the film was remoteness. The rural village of Oura, where the film takes place Once upon a time in BhutanHowever, it is accessible and modern, so it was not possible not to skimp on the equipment. The theme has also changed, which is innocence, an important trait of Bhutanese which many have mistaken for ignorance.

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Modern history of Bhutan

Since every movie tells a story, going to the cinema means knowing and learning, what if we didn’t watch it Once upon a time in BhutanWe probably never knew that in 2006 the locals missed their king and showed a certain amount of distrust towards elections, so much so that it was necessary to organize a mock election so that people would become aware of voting. This is exactly what the film is about, which also highlights the fact that the transition to democracy took place without revolutions, with the king spontaneously abdicating so that his country could find its unique place in the world. If people view democracy with suspicion, it is because they adhere to tradition. Moreover, Bhutan is the last country in the world to succumb to the temptation of the Internet and television, and it is no coincidence that one of the most beautiful scenes in the film is the one in which a group of people, including a monk, is shown. Look eagerly What a condolence to Mark ForsterThe twenty-second Bond film. However, Bhutan only embraced technology because it did not want to fall far behind the rest of Asia. However, it must be said that the policy of self-isolation in the past benefited the country that steadfastly resisted colonialism.

Monk with gun

Once upon a time in Bhutan It is a choral story in which different narrative lines develop simultaneously. Perhaps the most surprising thing is what happened to the monk who was asked by an elderly lama to bring him some weapons. The monk finds an old rifle and walks over the mountains carrying the weapon. This is one of the most evocative images in the film and contrasts with the obsession of the old American gun collector who spent a large sum of dollars to acquire the gun. The man who serves as his translator tells the monk that there are more weapons in the stranger’s country than people, and the monk replies that it must be a very special country. Of course we smile, but in reality there is not much to joke about. Fortunately, the monk has the support of the entire village, which has a very strong sense of community and which organizes its existence based on the 2,500-year-old teachings of the Buddha. Religion in the film brings everyone together, eliminates differences, and leads to contemplation and introspection.

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FIL, Gross National Happiness Index, as a guideline for Bhutan

When Bhutan’s government promulgated its first constitution in 2008, it strongly insisted that its inaugural statement read: “The purpose of government is to provide happiness for its people, and if government cannot provide happiness, it has no reason to exist.” Thus the pursuit of happiness has always been a guiding principle for the small country bordering India and China, which saw fit to “invent” the concept of gross national happiness. In short, there are those who are obsessed with the GDP on which the country’s economy depends, and those who prefer gross national happiness. About this, Bao Chuening Dorje He explained: “The concept of Gross National Happiness is the ability to adapt to changing situations, using the wisdom and means that allowed the Kings of Bhutan to guide the country through situations that threaten the sovereignty of the nation. It is also with the same wisdom and with the same skill that we gently guide us to embrace democracy and prosper with it.”

Discover precious cinematography, able to speak to everyone

Once upon a time in BhutanWhich also deals with a social and political topic, it is not a boring film at all. In fact, it has great lightness and even a touch of tenderness. Bao Chuening Dorje In fact he had an excellent instinct for choosing comedy. But the comedy is not “coarse-grained” but has grace and delicacy. All of this makes the film accessible and able to speak to all types of audience. Once upon a time in Bhutan It therefore imposes itself as a tool for approaching distant cinema and as an awareness that certain themes, feelings and situations have a universal character, for example the fear of leaving the old path for the new one. Speaking of roads, we should not forget that two hours in the dark in the booths of one of the halls allow us to visit even the most remote corners of the Earth, which Bao Chuening Dorje Contribute to making it a heritage for everyone. We remember that the first feature film was produced in Bhutan, Wizards and travelers to Khyentse NorbuIt was only produced in 2002, and at present there are no professional actors in the country.

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