THE MONK AND THE GUN (TIFF 2023) – Review by Liz Braun

The Monk and the Gun is set in 2006. Bhutan has just got access to television (and the internet) and the king has decided the country should become a democracy. To that end, people must learn how to vote, and a trial run is set up so the locals in every village and crossroads can eventually learn to do just that. There’s a lot of planning around the mock election to be held in Ura, but it turns out democracy is a bit of a hard sell when most of the populace is still loyal to the king.

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LUNANA – A YAK IN THE CLASSROOM – Review by Diane Carson

The country Bhutan is unique, measuring Gross National Happiness instead of Gross National Product. This idea surfaces several times in Lunana – A Yak in the Classroom, the first Bhutanese film nominated for an Academy Award for Best International Feature. In fact, that yak does reside in the school, as Ugyen learns when assigned to teach in this incredibly remote village.

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