Bhutan Land of the Thunder Dragon

Discoveries International

$ 9.95

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This fascinating video documentary delves deep into the rich history, cultural traditions and haunting beauty of the Kingdom of Bhutan as it struggles to join up with the 21st century while striving to retain its unique cultural identity and values.  Bhutan- Land of the Thunder Dragon, brings to life a culture and country that has been virtually unknown to the rest of the world, and an understanding of a people determined to maintain their true identity.

DVDBTN REVIEW: Bhutan Land of the Thunder Dragon
One of my favorite books growing up was James Hilton's Lost Horizon, in which survivors from a plane crash on the Tibetan plateau find themselves in Shangri-la, a mythical city where no one ever ages.

In 1996, while visiting the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal, I met some fellow travelers who talked about the real shangri-la, a living museum called Bhutan, where the people still followed the ways of their ancestors by growing their own food, spinning and dying their own thread, and making their own clothes.  In Bhutan- Land of the Thunder Dragon, filmmakers Jim and Kelly Watt- who were allowed unprecedented access to this remote and isolated country (in fact, Bhutan's king has only recently opened the borders to tourism) located between Tibet and India- provide viewers with a colorful and insightful look at this little-known society where the people still wear (admittedly by order of law) their traditional garments and live by the same Buddhist precepts as their forefathers.

Nicely shot, and completely devoid of the Western prejudices found in similar productions, this lovely travel video shows Bhutan for what it is: a jewel of the Himalayan range. Sure to be a popular addition, this off the beaten track travelogue is definitely recommended. Aud: H, P. (J. Asala) (4 stars=Excellent, highest rating)



Discoveries Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon...Preview.. from Bennett-Watt HD Productions on Vimeo.

DVDBTN REVIEW: Bhutan...Land of the Thunder Dragon
Gr 8 Up--This leisurely tour of India's neighbor, Bhutan, A Himalayan monarchy the size of Switzerland, introduces a country that has changed minimally in hundreds of years.

Recently, along with roads and TV, the country is encouraging tourism. Scenery includes 25,000 feet high mountains, dramatic waterfalls, forests rich in diverse plants and animals, 16th century fortresses, and Buddhist temples. In primitive villages, it's a subsistence living with people growing or making almost everything they use.  There are scenes of homebuilding, farming, weaving, a school and local markets. A tourist fishing and a national archery competition round out the tour. It would have been interesting to see where and how the king lives, but that might have sounded a negative note in this touristic overview.

A narrator describes the varied scenes with some comments by a national. The photography is excellent; there is some spectacular scenery, but there are also slow sections showing farming and other basic activities.  While this is more of a video to attract tourists than an educational production, it does provide a picture of a unique country that Americans know very little about-(Anitra Gordon, Lincoln High School, Ypsilanti, MI)


DVDBTN REVIEW: Bhutan...Land of the Thunder Dragon
A beautifully produced documentary delving into the history and cultural traditions of the Kingdom of Bhutan.