A village in Bhutan is connected to electricity for the first time. A monk searches for a TV, depicting the bittersweet seduction of technology.

Happiness 01
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
November 17, 2014
60 minutes
Funding Initiative
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2014 Sundance Film Festival-Cinematography Award: World Cinema Documentary
  • Nominated laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2014 News and Documentary Emmy Awards-Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary and Long Form Nomination
  • Balmes thomas filmmaker bio

    Thomas Balmes

    Thomas Balmès is an independent documentary director and producer. His films use contrast to reveal our society from completely new and different angles, including: the Bosnia war seen from the side of Masai warriors (Bosnia Hotel); the mad cow crisis as seen from the Indian perspective (Maharajah Burger); a Papuan tribe being converted to christianity (The Gospel According to the Papuans); and childhood seen from all around the planet (Babies).


    Patrick Winocour


    Juliette Guigon


    Kaarle Aho

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    The Film

    Peyangki, a 9-year-old monk, has never before left his Bhutanese village perched high in the Himalayas, where the nearest road is a three-day walk. When connected to electricity for the first time, he treks to the nearest city in search of a television, in a story of the bittersweet seduction of technology and progress.