Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait
Something is stirring deep in the Bhutanese jungle. Every 12 years, a select group of people are given the opportunity to participate in a ceremonial event, isolated far from civilisation, where they can live in utter anonymity for a period of time, wearing a mask and costume at all times.
Various rituals are being enacted. Some of the participants are having sex, some are hunting, while others are mostly watching from behind their colourful masks. In the beginning, the unnamed protagonist plays a part much like Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut; he observes, both fascinated and frightened. However, he gradually he becomes increasingly drawn to a mysterious woman who is commonly known as Red Wrathful. The budding obsession will prove fateful for the both of them. All the while, the mighty Bhutanese jungle landscape is like a thick blanket surrounding the events we are witnessing; as beautiful as it is claustrophobic.
Khyentse Norbu (b. 1961) is one of Bhutan's most prominent filmmakers, and also known as the third incarnation of the reformer Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. His debut The Cup (1999) became an international sensation. When Bernardo Bertolucci made Little Buddha in the early 90s, Norbu was hired as a consultant.
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Original title Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait
Country Bhutan, Hong Kong
Director Khyentse Norbu
Screenplay Khyense Norbu
Cinematography Jigme Tenzing
Producer Sarah Chen, Pawo Choyning Dorji
Cast Tshering Dorji, Sadon Lhamo, Thinley Dorji
Production Company Tsong Tsong Ma Productions, Dewathang Talkie
Distribution Hanway Films
Runtime 1h 36m
Genre Drama, Adventure
Age limit 15
This film is in competition for the Audience Award.