Young teacher Ugyen from Bhutan is sent to the extremely remote mountain village of Lunana for his final year of training. The high altitude and lack of amenities of his primitive new surroundings, make him want to leave immediately upon arrival. However, the warm welcome of the children and the spiritual strength of the villagers, bring him to his senses and will change his destiny forever.
Nominated for an Oscar for Best International Film and also the directorial debut of director Pawo Choyning Dorji, this film follows Ugyen, a teacher who is about to complete the fourth of his five years of mandatory government teacher training, much to his dismay because he actually wants to go to Australia to become a musician. However, his life will change when the isolated place where he is to teach will transform his life.
What is immediately striking about this film is the stunning cinematography, which manages to capture both the beauty and the desperation of the setting. The acting is fantastic, and it actually manages to connect with these people and feel every emotion they go through during the film, which is crucial given the emotional drive of the film. The direction has an atmosphere reminiscent of Ozu and his contemporary counterpart, Koreeda.