With opening ceremony
Friday September 30th
Bhutan, Hong Kong 2016
Dzongkha with English subtitles
A philosophical fairytale (the title means “once upon a time”) embedded in the ceremonial traditions of Bhutan and shot in a remote village whose inhabitants actively participated in the cast. Hema Hema discusses topics like identity and anonymity, illusion and reality, and most particularly, the transition from life to death and back to life. It reflects on humans defined by the masks they wear and on anonymity, offering a temporary refuge from responsibility.
Somewhere deep in a forest of Bhutan, there is a gathering every twelve years of men and women chosen by the Old Man to enjoy a few days of anonymity. Masked silhouettes participate in rituals, performances and dances. Faceless, the men and the women allow themselves to be lascivious, playful and daring. One man attends this event for the first time and enters the experience like a new born. He stumbles clumsily through the first days, but quickly adapts, and when he spots Red Wrathful, he becomes totally intoxicated with her. But his desire will lead him down a dangerous path.
Director: Khyentse Norbu – With: Tshering Dorji, Sadon Lhamo, Thinley Dorji, Zhou Xun – Producers: Pawo Choyning Dorji, Jeremy Thomas, Sarah Chen – Cinematography: Jigme Tenzing – Sound design and music: David C.Hughes – Editors: Tian Zhuangzhjuang, Li Gen – Production design: Emily Avery, Yoshiko Crow – Sound design: Duu-Chih Tu, Wu Shu-Yao – Production company: Tsong Tsong Ma Productions – International sales: HanWay Films