AGENT OF HAPPINESS

WONDERLANDS

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Directors ARUN BHATTARAI, DOROTTYA ZURBÓ (Bhutan 2024) 94 min

Amber, a Nepalese refugee and caregiver for his ailing mother, works as a Bhutanese government agent, traversing the remote Himalayan mountains with his colleague to assess how their nation is feeling. That’s measured in Gross National Happiness (GNH), a response to global economic standards that challenged traditional Buddhist ideals of peace and prosperity. On Amber’s introspective journey, his own yearning for marriage intertwines with the diverse stories of those he encounters, including a transgender bar dancer, a man and his three wives, and a teenage girl grappling with familial challenges. Sparking profound contemplation, Agent of Happiness delves into the intricate tapestry of contentment, reflecting on the varied contextual influences—from modest joys to societal disparities—that affect our pursuit of fulfillment.

FRIDAY, MAY 3 • 3:30

$16.50 GENERAL  |  $14 MEMBERS
$15 SENIOR (65+)
$8 STUDENTS w/ ID & YOUTH (12 & under)

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DIRECTORS

One of the few independent documentary filmmakers in Bhutan, ARUN BHATTARAI premiered his first feature, The Next Guardian, (co-directed by Dorottya Zurbó) at IDFA in 2017, after which it played at more than 40 other international festivals. Before becoming a filmmaker, he worked as a TV director at the Bhutan Broadcasting Service for five years. 

DOROTTYA ZURBÓ’s feature directorial debut, Easy Lessons, premiered at the Locarno Film Festival Critics Week section in 2018, and has won awards including the Hungarian Critics Award for Best Documentary. She teaches at the prestigious DocNomads Joint Master program in Europe. 



FILM INFO

COUNTRY:Bhutan
YEAR:2024
RUNNING TIME:94 min
LANGUAGE:Nepali, Dzongkha, English with English subtitles
DIRECTORS:Arun Bhattarai, Dorottya Zurbó
PRODUCER:
Noémi Veronika Szakonyi
CINEMATOGRAPHERS:
Arun Bhattarai, Dorottya Zurbó
EDITOR:
Péter Sass
NOTE WRITER:
Michelle Svenson

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