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15 Ratings

Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait

Directed by Khyentse Norbu
Bhutan, Hong Kong, 2016
Drama, Mystery


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.

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Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait Directed by Khyentse Norbu
In terms of mise en scène, Hema Hema deeply weaves into the mountains and jungles of Bhutan. It thematically reveals the secretive culture and philosophy of samsara under Buddhist spiritualism. From this perspective, SIFF endeavoured to widen the opportunity for audiences to experience other cultures.
September 20, 2017
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While Hema Hema appears on the surface to be a morality play, it actually undermines this at several steps, right up to the end in a techno dance club. Norbu, who has written that when we watch a movie "something in our hearts is telling us that we know it's not real, that it's not a big deal," has made a movie designed to do nothing but provoke questions. It's an interesting gambit for an international man of cinema, and nirvana.
September 07, 2016
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Colorful, exotic and mysterious enough to keep audiences on their spiritual toes, the handsomely produced fourth feature by Buddhist preacher Khyentse Norbu (The Cup, Travelers and Magicians, Vara: A Blessing) looks sufficiently outlandish to draw the attention of every festival programmer and appeal to all those who have already enjoyed a taste of Norbu's native Bhutan in his earlier pictures.
August 11, 2016
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