Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom ★★★★

Another of the 15 films to earn a coveted spot on the Oscar shortlist for Best International Feature, Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom made perhaps the longest trek to get on the Academy’s radar, becoming only the second film ever submitted by the tiny Himalayan-bound Kingdom of Bhutan, Originally submitted in 2020 and subsequently disqualified due to not forming an Academy-approved selection committee, it was re-submitted following proper protocols this year, and is riding high after emerging on the aforementioned shortlist. A gorgeously shot little gem that takes full advantage of the breathtaking scenery of it’s locale, and captured on cameras powered by solar batteries, Lunana is a a real village tucked away high in the mountains, by some estimates the most remote location on earth. It’s here that our protagonist, a cynical youth fulfilling his government contract as a school-teacher, is sent for his final year of service. You can guess where things will go from there as he’s won over by the students in somewhat predictable fashion, (I defy you not to have your heart touched by Pem Zam, the pint-sized class captain), but it’s such a sweet picture full of genuine heart and warmth, audiences are sure to be swept along by it’s crowd-pleasing approach.

Seen at: Laemmle Royal
Films in 2022: #28