July 1, 2012/in DOCUMENTARY, NEWS
ABOUT THE FILM
19-year-old Dechen lives with her mother and kid brother in Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan. Dechen dreams of becoming a famous singer, and has been hand-picked for the Druk Super Star, the Bhutanese answer to X-Factor. As the contest progresses, Dechen starts to explore the story of her late grandmother, who was a great singer. Searching for her own identity, Dechen reveals the family secrets of curses and blessings.
SHE SINGS challenges traditional documentary film making through its strong poetic and visual language, allowing us into the inner life of a young girl, alienated by her own mythical culture. SHE SINGS is the first experimental documentary ever made in the formerly secluded country of Bhutan, nestled in the Himalayas. The understated, sensitive tone of the film thematizes traditional life versus modern life, the individual versus the commune, myths versus real life. Young Dechen’s journey from childhood to adulthood reflects the transition of the old world into a new and modern world.
ABOUT THE DIRECTORS
Caroline Sascha Cogez is a trained film director from the Super 16 and holds a BA i Sociology. Caroline started out as a director’s assistant to Lars Von Trier, and has written and directed a number of award-winning short films.
“I am interested in everything that connects people across borders more so than in what separates us. It was very important to me to make a film that went beyond the exotic view of Bhutan and focused on the personal story. Singing is the connecting link in the film, for the main character, for all of us. Regardless of cultural background, singing will touch your heart no matter if you understand the lyrics or not,” says Director Caroline Sascha Cogez.
Dechen Roeder has been directing, editing and producing films since 2001, and is one of the few female documentary filmmakers in Bhutan.
“I was very interested in exploring how in my country Bhutan – without any documented record of women’s stories, and where most women never knew how to read and write – modern women in the capital city identify themselves, find their role models, or precedents? What women’s stories are available to them? How do we shape our identities? Based on what? and whom? Our main character provided the perfect focus point for this intention, as she was putting herself on national TV (a very modern phenomena in Bhutan) and constantly “playing a role”… for the audience, which also prompts her to “search” a little more for something tangible to draw confidence and identity from,“ says Co-Director Dechen Roder.
SHE SINGS, 50-minute documentary, Bhutan, 2012 (Danish/Bhutanese co-production)
Directors: Caroline Sascha Cogez (DK/FR) & Dechen Roeder (Bhutan)