6.8/10
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1 user 7 critic

Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait (2016)

Somewhere deep in a forest of Bhutan, there is a gathering every twelve years of men and women chosen by the Old Man to enjoy a few days of anonymity. Masked silhouettes participate in ... See full summary »

Director:

Khyentse Norbu

Writer:

Khyentse Norbu
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tshering Dorji Tshering Dorji ... Expressionless / The Bard
Sadon Lhamo Sadon Lhamo ... Red Wrathful / Hideous
Thinley Dorji Thinley Dorji ... Lha Karpo
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung ... Deer / Serene Mask (as Tony Chiu Wai Leung)
Xun Zhou ... Daughter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tshewang Dendup Tshewang Dendup ... Dragon
Tenzin Dolma Tenzin Dolma ... Agay
Jamyang Dorji Jamyang Dorji ... Dead Man
Jigme Drukpa Jigme Drukpa ... Gold Face Musician
Xin Liang Xin Liang ... Modern Dancer
Rinchen Namgayel Rinchen Namgayel ... Goose
Pema Namtruel Pema Namtruel ... Yamaraj
Gomchen Pema Gomchen Pema ... Peacock
Tandin Sonam Tandin Sonam ... Atsara
Kelsang Tobgay Kelsang Tobgay ... Guard Leader
Edit

Storyline

Somewhere deep in a forest of Bhutan, there is a gathering every twelve years of men and women chosen by the Old Man to enjoy a few days of anonymity. Masked silhouettes participate in rituals, performances and dances. Faceless, the men and the women allow themselves to be lascivious, playful and daring. One man attends this event for the first time and enters the experience like a new born. He stumbles clumsily through the first days, but quickly adapts, and when he spots Red Wrathful, he becomes totally intoxicated with her. But his desire will lead him down a dangerous path.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

Bhutan | Hong Kong

Language:

Dzongkha

Release Date:

23 April 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hema Hema See more »

Filming Locations:

Bhutan

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Art-house bhutanese twilight zone
3 May 2018 | by tzalSee all my reviews

Khyentse Norbu is a film-maker belonging to the lineage of the finest Asian masters, Hiroshi Teshigahara and Satyajit Ray. This is a feast for careful placement of movement in frame, all the while retaining plot. It is an art-house, "bardo" (gap) movie, but narrative and plot twists are present for those who are able to withstand a somewhat still contemplative movie, and it works as a history -- even though quite a weird one, which is something Norbu is aiming for.

Of course, the director is a major guru in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition (Khyentse Norbu, when we take his mask, is known as The Infallible Source of Refuge Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche). So, this movie is taken by his followers as direct teaching, a powerful transformative message to be integrated as reflection in one's own practice.

While people with slight knowledge of Buddhism will recognize themes, and even capture some nomenclature (hidden in the very well thought of subtitle translation), those with no interest or knowledge in the religion, but who like film and weird experiments (and a twilight-zone fringe feeling of sorts) will enjoy it for sure.

For people with an artistic eye, the masks in themselves are quite captivating. I would surely watch even a series of stills of this movies for quite some time and remain entertained.

The director faced some backlash in his native country, and even accusations of blasphemy, due to using seeming religious imagery in scenes around sex and violence. Yet, Khyentse Norbu is a refined artist scholar with a vast knowledge of film, culture and the human mind. The Japanese nubero bago comes to mind -- in that someone refined as Hiroshi Teshigahara, a flower arrangement master, made sensual movies and psychologic science fiction, featuring weirdos, outcasts and the more marginalized aspects of Japanese culture. "Under the Blossoming Cherry Trees" also comes to mind, as well as Shohei Imamura. But the art direction in this Hema Hema comes directly from Satyajit Ray (something that is actualy even clearer in Norbu's last effort, "Vara"). Khyentse Norbu knows what he likes, and he is quite able to put the spot on what is good and make the lineage shine.


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