17-year-old monk Peyangki is torn between a quiet life of piousness and the allure of the Internet. When his remote monastery in Bhutan suddenly goes on grid, cellphones open up a new world of technology – and romance. Falling in love over WeChat with a young singer from the capital, Peyangki considers leaving it all behind for the girl who sings to him over his phone.
A delicate study of one individual’s development, Sing Me a Song has documentarian Thomas Balmès return a decade later to the same child from his earlier film Happiness (2014), who was then preparing for the arrival of electricity in his hometown. Besides tracing a unique story of conflicting tradition, ambition and connectedness, it permits an unprecedented view on the impact of the Internet as it reaches into the furthest corners of the planet. With this nuanced portrayal of online dating and screen addiction, you’ll have to rethink your ideas about how technology shapes our development, identity and relationships. Faced with such a brave new world, what would you do?