'A Challenging Documentary from a Secluded Country'

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February 18, 2014/in DOCUMENTARY, NEWS


This unusual coming of age story takes us on a journey of discovery full of mermaid encounters, magic monkeys, drunken grannies and Bhutanese pop music. 19-year-old Dechen is living with her mother and little brother in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Dechen dreams of becoming a famous singer, and has succeeded in becoming a contestant in the Bhutan TV singing contest “Druk Super Star”.

As the competition evolves, Dechen explores the story of her beloved late grandmother, who was a singing talent just like Dechen. In her search for identity, Dechen uncovers a dark family history in which blessings and curses stand side by side.

SHE SINGS challenges the limits of documentary language with a poetic visual language that leads us into the life of a young girl alienated in her own culture. It is the first experimental documentary coming out of this formerly closed country in the midst of the Himalayas. Bhutan was the last country in the world to allow TV, in 1999, and has only in the past decade established its own movie industry. The transition from child to adult in the young girl reflects a country in the middle of a transition between the old and the modern world.

The documentary was shown at CPH:DOX, November 2011.


The directors are the Danish Caroline Sascha Cogez and as co-director the Bhutanese Dechen Roder. Caroline wrote the script for SHE SINGS. Caroline has won numerous film awards and her films have been shown at festivals all over the world. She has directed films such as Emmalou and Les Amours Perdus. Dechen Roder has directed numerous films, including Original Photocopy of Happiness and the documentary series The first ray of READ in Bhutan. Dechen has also edited a series of short films, includingWake up Jigs and Girl with Red Sky.