Bhutan Coming Out of Hiding
In the picturesque backdrop of the Himalaya Mountains, Bhutan is one of the least reached and most ignored nations, even by 10/40 Window standards. But it will soon make its way to the attention of Westerners.
The Academy Awards nominated “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” for an award. Filmed in Bhutan, it is destined to bring attention to the country.
The film is about a teacher in Bhutan’s capital city, Thimphu, who is forced to teach in Lunana Valley, an isolated village with only 100 people. Throughout the story, he learns to appreciate the simplicity of the Lunana lifestyle.
The movie crew had to overcome tremendous obstacles, such as the lack of electricity. Some of the actors were local people who had never seen a movie camera and were not familiar with the acting process.
For decades, Bhutan’s leaders have strived to keep the people happy. In their view, technology harms the environment and local cultures. One aspect of the local culture is their form of Buddhism, which borrows heavily from Tibet. Outside spiritual ideas are not welcome in this theocracy.
- New York Times, ‘Improbable Journey’: How a Movie From Tiny Bhutan Got an Oscar Nod. February 12, 2022
- Bhutan: From Pre-Tech to One of the Most Wired Countries. February 12, 2018
- The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan. 2008