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Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (2019)Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (2019)

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (2019)

A teacher’s stay at the world’s most remote school prompts him to discover the true value of education

Drama, Family

7.1

movie

Bhutan, China

Dzongkha, English

Character-driven, Discussion-sparking, Dramatic

2019

Pawo Choyning Dorji

Kelden Lhamo Gurung, Kunzang Wangdi, Sherab Dorji

109 min

Synopsis

A teacher, in search of inspiration, travels to the most remote school in the world, where he ends up realizing how important his job is and appreciating the value of yak dung.

Our Take

7.1
Gerald Cajayon

On his first day of class in the remote village of Lunana, the city teacher Ugyen asks his students what they want to be when they grow up. One of the children, a young boy named Sangay, answers that he aspires to be a teacher “because a teacher touches the future.” Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, however, subverts this thematic by spending most of its runtime showing how the villagers touch Ugyen’s heart through genuine acts of kindness, forcing him to rethink his long-term dream of becoming a singer in Australia.

Not only does Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom succeed in its heartfelt dramatization of a Gen Z finding his place in the highlands, it also serves as a propagandistic validation of Bhutan’s “happiest country in the world” epithet. In doing so, the film presents the Bhutanese mountains in as breathtakingly picturesque a manner as possible, limning a paradise through the grassy meadows and children’s faces.

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