Part of the 2014 Margaret Mead Film Festival
Co-presented with Margaret Mead Film Festival
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY
Dir. Thomas Balmès | 2014 | 80 min. | France, Finland, Bhutan
New York premiere | Director in attendance
Happiness traces the arc of progress that began in 1999 in Bhutan when King Jigme Wangchuck approved the use of television and the Internet throughout the largely undeveloped nation. Director Thomas Balmès (Babies, 2010) begins filming at the end of the process in Laya, the last of Bhutan’s villages to be enveloped by roads, electricity, and cable television, as an 8-year-old monk watches the upheaval and longs for a TV set of his own. As the boy embarks on a three-day journey to the bustling capital of Thimphu, the passing countryside reveals the seismic technological shift that has taken place, its layers increasingly intense as the city nears. The cars, colorful lights of clubs, and countless other elements of modern life that the boy encounters for the first time punctuate the stark difference between a more isolated past and the future that is about to eclipse it.
This screening will be followed by a discussion moderated by La Frances Hui, Film Curator at Asia Society New York.
*Asia Society member discount: Call American Museum of Natural History box office at 212-769-5200 and mention Asia Society for tickets at member rate ($10).
Kaufmann Theater, Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY