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Travellers and Magicians

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Two men, two women, two journeys are woven into an intricate tapestry of desires as Travellers and Magicians takes us on an adventurous emotional tour through the heartland of Bhutanese Buddhist culture.
Set amidst the pristine beauty of the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, our story follows the footsteps of Dondup, a handsome young government officer stationed in a rural outpost. But instead of revelling in the dignity of his position, Dondup has attitude. He is convinced that leaving Bhutan for the western world will satisfy all that he craves.
When opportunity knocks, it comes with a deadline. Dondup seizes the moment, lies to his senior officer, throws his suitcase out the window and hastily departs - unfortunately a touch too late.  He misses his bus to the nearby town of Thimphu and, to his dismay, is left stranded on the road with two other travellers heading in the same direction - a Buddhist monk and a simple apple seller.  Dondup's fear of spending a dark night under the stars alone subdues his arrogant display towards his fellow travellers and he joins them for a night around their fire on the roadside.
'Be careful with dreamlands..' the monk tells Dondup upon hearing of his plans to go to America, '...when you wake up, it might be unpleasant.' To pass the night away the good natured monk begins to tell the tale of Tashi, a lazy, disinterested student of sorcery who dreams of distant 'greener pastures' inhabited by beautiful women. One day his younger brother gives Tashi a magic potion that transports him through distant mountains and forests where he is unceremoniously dumped. In blinding rain the exhausted traveller stumbles upon an isolated hut where a cantankerous old man Agay and his beautiful young wife Deki offer him shelter.
The monk's tale continues throughout the journey as they make their way along the majestic mountain roads. Getting a lift for all of them becomes a mission and walking to Thimphu seems to be their destiny. Along the way they meet a series of colourful local characters but it is when Dondup meets a local beauty, Sonam, that his world starts to alter and his footsteps begin to falter. Will the monk's playful teasing change Dondup's view of his 'primitive' homeland, or will it be Sonam's beguiling smile?
Is he blinded by his hopes and schemes, is it lust or love, and what of his 'great American dream'?  Dondup is wavering - should he leave or should he stay? The monk with the permanent smile knows. With his deadline looming, a ride finally appears but can only take two of the travellers...


Type of film
Running Time
107 mins
Khyentse Norbo
Jeremy Thomas
Executive Producer
Jeremy Thomas
John Scott, Lisa Anne Morris
Khyentse Norbo
Director of Photography
Alan Kozlowski
Andrew Plain
Declan Dorjee, Donam Dorji, Michal The Girl
Principal Cast
Tschewang Dendup


Production status


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Last updated 7th September 2006

Production Company

Prauer Fiag Pictures
PO Box 1189
Thimou, Bhutan


24 Hanway Street

T+44 (0)20 7290 0750
F+44 (0)20 7290 0751