A young Bhutanese monk dreams of leaving his monastery to be with the woman he loves.
Award-winning director/producer Thomas Balmès’ (Happiness, Babies) and Participant Media’s profound documentary SING ME A SONG, which is slated for a New Year's Day release on January 1 from Gravitas Ventures via virtual cinemas and on VOD platforms. The rich character study, which premiered at 2019 Toronto International Film Festival to critical acclaim, is a captivating coming-of-age film about a young Buddhist monk searching to find a balance between tradition and technology.
Balmès returns to one of his Happiness (2014) subjects, now a teenaged monk (Peyangki), living in a rural (yet Wi-Fi equipped) monastery in Bhutan, absorbed in the wonders of the world that are a simple click away. The structured daily village rituals of prayer and candle lighting now compete with the powerful lure of smartphones and TV.
Apps for chats and dating introduce the monks to girls and violent video games, neither of which quite line up with the traditional vows of the monks. Peyangki is passionate about love songs and forms a relationship over an app, WeChat, with a young singer (Ugyen) in the “big city” of Thimphu. Distracted and disinterested in study, and often scolded by his masters and mother, he sells medicinal mushrooms to make enough money to leave the monastery and travel to Ugyen. A nuanced portrait of a young man’s introduction to the world, Balmès offers us an eye-opening snapshot of the effects of technology, and challenges us to reassess our perceptions of self-worth and beliefs in an age of unparalleled connectivity.