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Archive - 11th Five Flavours Film Festival

Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait

Bhutan, Hong Kong 2016, 96’
subtitles: Polish and English
director: Khyentse Norbu
screenplay: Khyentse Norbu
cinematography: Jigme Tenzing
editing: Tian Zhuangzhuang, Li Gen
sound: Tu Duu-Chih, Wu Shu-Yao
cast: Tshering Dorji, Sadon Lhamo, Thinley Dorji, Zhou Xun
producer: Pawo Choyning Dorji, Sara Chen
production: Tsong Tsong Ma Productions, Dewathang Talkie Limited
language: Dzongkha
colouration: colour

Awards and festivals

Toronto IFF 2016 - Platform Prize (Honorable Mention); Malaysian Golden Global Audience Choice Award 2017; Locarno IFF 2016; Busan IFF 2016; Taipei Golden Horse FF 2016

Film description

Every 12 years, a group of anonymous people meets in the mountain wilderness to spend two weeks meditating and discovering their limits, and to take part in a religious cleansing ritual. Even though their temporary camp has a set of strict rules, some of the participants also delve into the darkest corners of the mind.

A visually stunning, avant-garde drama, combining the traditions of a Shakespearean tragedy with Buddhist tales of death and desire. When transferred into a space governed by its own rules, the simple, everyday events become metaphors. Yet, the director does not formulate any clear answers, leaving the audiences lots of space for interpretation.

Khyentse Norbu, a director fulfilling important spiritual roles in the Buddhist community, does not use the film didactically as a means to convey the traditional teachings. Instead, he points to different paths and tropes, often in a fairly unexpected manner. The director consciously uses film form to create an unsettling, hypnotic story about human passions.

Jagoda Murczyńska

Khyentse Norbu

Born in 1961, lama (Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche), director and screenwriter. At the age of seven recognized as the third incarnation of the founder of the Khyentse line of Tibetan Buddhism, educated in Indian monasteries. He directing and political sciences in the US and at SOAS in London. In 1993, he was a consultant for Bertolucci’s "Little Buddha." In 1999, he directed his first production in India, a story of young Tibetan monks fascinated by football. His films, made in India and Bhutan, achieved quite a success at international festivals.


1999 Puchar Himalajów / Phörpa / The Cup

2003 Podróżnicy i magowie / Chang Hup Thengi Thruel Nang / Travellers and Magicians

2013 Vara: A Blessing

2016 Hema Hema / Hema Hema / Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait

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