Films

Happiness

Thomas Balmès
2013 | 80 minutes | 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.

Preceded by the Mead Mixer, a daily happy hour in Cafe on One from 6-7:30 pm

Co-presented by Cultural Services of the French Embassy, The Finnish Film Commission, the Rubin Museum of Art and the Asia Society

This screening will be followed by a discussion moderated by La Frances Hui, Film Curator at Asia Society New York