A visual journey through the country of Bhutan while a total solar eclipse looms in the near future.

If one dreams of the sun and the moon being eclipsed,
Falling to the plains, or repeatedly setting,
One’s father, mother or teacher may die,
And it is said that if they are sick at the time,
Their death will be inevitable.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead

On July 22, 2009 a total solar eclipse crossed Bhutan, the Himalayan kingdom with one foot in modernity and the other deep in ancient tradition. Leading a small group of filmmakers we witnessed the event in the remote mountains of Behmri where for 19 years the monk Pema has lived in complete solitude. Far from civilisation he leads an archaic life while the occasional visitor informs him of the changes happening down below.

As Bhutan marches forward, Pema carries on in solitude and prayer, the figure of the eclipse looming as a symbol of inevitable change.


Directed by Federico Urdaneta
Cinematography by Jesper Kurlandsky and Federico Urdaneta
Produced by Maja Flink

Video above is the trailer. Full-length film available upon request.