Travelers and Magicians (2003)

Director – Khyentse Norbu

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This is a simple movie shot in the picturesque country of Bhutan against the backdrop of the great Himalayas. It tells the story of a Bhutanese government officer who desperately wants to go to America – his land of dreams. He starts his journey from his remote village and on the way encounters an apple seller, a monk, and a merchant with his young daughter. As they have missed the bus, they hitch hike their way to the city.

To pass time, the monk tells a story of a young man who is similarly enchanted with dreams. Wanting to learn magic, he leaves home and reaches a lonely hut in the forest occupied by an old man with a young and attractive wife. Staying with them, the young man forgets about his dreams and falls in love with the wife of the old man. The story then takes a sinister turn with the young man realizing the danger in to which he had run into.

In the meanwhile, the officer takes a liking to the daughter of the merchant and is having second thoughts about going to America. All the while the monk is amused with the effect his story has on the officer who is impatient at one moment, irritable at another and chivalrous at yet another moment.

​Followers of Buddhism will love this movie, not because one of the central characters is a Buddhist monk, but because the story depicts vividly how desires drive and change man from moment to moment.

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