Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom
Gateway | Dragons & Tigers
Bhutan is said to be the happiest country in the world. For twenty-something Ugyen, however, it feels like anything but. An aspiring singer living with his grandmother in the capital, Ugyen dreams of getting a visa to relocate to Australia. But before he can do that, he must finish his final year of government teaching service in Bhutan’s most remote village school. With more yak dung than people and an altitude of nearly 5,000 metres, Lunana is a shock to the city slicker’s system. But as the seasons pass, the students, community, and traditions of the place grow on him and slowly begin to alter his perception of a country he’d previously taken for granted.
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom is a heartfelt, humanist tale about the unexpected ways that life can change us. Directed by Pawo Choyning Dorji, the producer of Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait (VIFF 16), the film is a visual balm, awash in striking, meditative imagery of Bhutan’s clouded mountains and valleys. Nature and spirituality figure prominently in Lunana’s daily life, and the film captures the richness of a culture rarely exhibited on screen.