Cannes Film Festival 12 May, 2011 - The Container, a co-production between Bhutan and Australia, and shot in Gaselo village, Wangduephodrang, is screening at the short film corner of the Cannes film festival.
Inspired by a true event that took place in the 1980s, the 15-minute movie, directed by Jamyang Dorji, was shot in less than two weeks, and is about a mother’s devotion to her child, as she travels great distances from her poor, remote community, to get some medicine from a small basic health unit for her very ill child.
In a cruel twist of fate, she learns that, even though the medicine is provided for free, she must have a container to hold the precious liquid. She does not have a bottle and cannot afford to buy one, and the search begins.
At one time, the mother played by Deki Yangzom, who acted in Travelers and Magicians, even tries to sell her dzee (antique jewelry) to get herself an empty bottle. Her desperate search reveals the emotional core of a mother, who is constantly worried about the safety of her child. It also reflects the trials and tribulations of parenthood.
The container symbolises protection from the uncertainties of life. Life itself is difficult to hold and, sometimes, simple things affect it in a big way.
In the end, it also renders a spiritual touch, as the mother finally gets hold of a vase (bumpa) from a lhakhang to hold the medicine. The movie is art-based, focused on a subject and targeted at a select audience. The movie was screened at the Cannes film festival yesterday at 12am.
The purpose of short movies is not to make money, but to convey one’s artistic message, according to Tashi Gyeltshen, a filmmaker, who also said that short filmmaking is almost non existent in the country.
A short-film festival, called the Beskop Tshechu, was organised last year among Bhutanese short filmmakers.