Best of Hot Docs: Happiness

(80 mins)


In 1999, TV and the Internet came to Bhutan. In the remote village of Laya, perched high in the Himalayas, 900 residents have been waiting patiently for 15 years to get electricity. Eight-year-old Peyangki is one of the only residents who has never left the village, and he eagerly awaits the imminent arrival of the new technologies as a window to the wider world. After her husband’s death, unable to afford all six of her children, Peyangki’s mother sent the boy to the local monastery. Struggling with his new life there, Peyangki is stuck between two worlds, the old and the new. In this strikingly beautiful film, director Thomas Balmès (Babies) allows us to witness huge change through the eyes of this young monk’s life, from leaving the village for the first time to what it means for one of the last remaining villages to become connected. (Charlotte Cook)

"Outstanding… Happiness is a film to cherish." POV Magazine

"This is nonfiction film making at its finest." The Matinee