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The Red Phallus

dir. Tashi Gyeltshen
Bhutan 2018, 85’
Polish premiere
Awards and festivals
Busan IFF 2018 Berlin IFF 2019
Bhutan 2018
Duration: 85’
director: Tashi Gyeltshen
screenplay: Tashi Gyeltshen
cinematography: Jigme T. Tenzing
editing: Saman Alvitigala
music: Jigme Drukpa, Frances-Marie Uitti
cast: Tshering Euden, Singye, Dorji Gyeltshen
producer: Tashi Gyeltshen, Kristina Konrad, Ram Krishna Pokharel
production: Studio 108
language: Dzongkha
colouration: colour

Film description

16-year-old Sangay lives in the cloudy Phobjikha Valley in central Bhutan. The girl hardly ever speaks, she sleeps under her bed and meets with an older, married man. Her father, who chides her all the time, is a sculptor whittling wooden phalluses. They are supposed to ward off evil powers but for Sangay they are only the reason why her peers mock her.

But this is just one of her worries. Surrounded by the boundlessness of beautiful nature, she is trapped in a tight cage of traditional rules of caste society. Will growing frustration help her to free herself from this apparent paradise? Saturated with symbols taken from local folklore and told with tasteful, long, natural light shots, "The Red Phallus" is another triumph of Bhutan's young cinematography.

Maja Korbecka

Tashi Gyeltshen

A self-taught filmmaker, journalist, poet and cinema fan. He shot short films, one of which, "The Red Door", was presented during the 11th Five Flavours in the section Focus: Bhutan. His debut feature, "The Red Phallus", was based on a screenplay awarded with Open Doors grant at Locarno festival.


2008 The Girl With a Red Sky (kr. m.)
2010 A Forgotten Story (kr. m.)
2011 Taekwondo in Bhutan (dok.)
2014 Czerwone drzwi / The Red Door (kr. m.)
2018 Czerwony fallus / The Red Phallus

Festival guests

Tashi Ghyeltshen


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