A Girl with AIDS

My blogging efforts are paying off – yesterday I was invited to a private screening of “A Girl with a Red Sky”, a film about HIV/AIDS.

The film is short. But it is powerful. Tashi Gyeltshen, the film’s writer and director, presents a series of matter-of-fact conversations between the protagonist, a nine-year old girl dying of AIDS, and Death who has come to get her.

The film highlights the horrors of HIV/AIDS from a very different perspective – it shows Death shocked by the ruthlessness of the dreaded disease.

“A Girl with a Red Sky” was funded by UNICEF and YDF, and has reportedly already caught the attention of international HIV/AIDS activists. I am not surprised.

Nor will I be surprised if the film wins some international awards. Three Bhutanese directors have already shown the way: Dorji Wangchuk (for School among Glaciers, and Long Walk to Education), Kesang Chuki Dorji (for Doma Sellers) and Ugyen Wangdi (for Price of a Letter)

Well done, Tashi, and good luck.

(Of the 19 new HIV/AIDS cases detected in our country last year, 2 were infants.)


Facebook Comments:


  1. well…. i am so glad that this movie is doing well.

  2. hi sir,
    don’t you think this is corruption?
    First: you write about Bhutanese Movie, then this guy comments on it ..advertises his Documentary ..and offers you to watch his movie. probably you went with your family to watch it …if you watched in theatre a ticket might cost you over 100 a person.
    i was thinking if you want to be champion of “anti corruption” you should not accept any offer
    who knows this guy has an ulterior motive

  3. Noob; is it really so difficult for you to accept that there might be people out there who does things because they believe in it and is passionate about it irrespective of the losses and benefits of it. This blog happened to provide an avenue for a film maker and a film enthusiast. Fortunately or unfortunately in this case, one happened to be an influential personality like the OL and in his blog. Maybe for this film maker, the OL is just an individual who believes in the power of films,,,how it can influence the soceity for better. Dont you see it in our children; the future of Bhutan, they are so influenced but what we show them. Well i am writing this because i still believe that all Bhutanese are not corrupted. Please do not undermine ourselves, there are some who does things absolutely out of goodwill and i am hoping we develop such characters through good writing, good films, good politicians…there is still big hope in me!

  4. hi anonymous,
    i write this with a doubt but not with certainty ..nor did i conclude that all bhutanese are corrupt.
    if he had mind to show his piece of art to all .for free.. .then why not invite everyone ..why just His Excellency??that was my question.if it is offending ,i can take it back

  5. Tashi Gyeltshen (TG) says

    Dear Noob,
    It’s very sad that you thought in a negative way. I am so disappointed. I made a short film on HIV AIDS. It’s not a commercial film. I am sure it will be shown in schools and to the public soon all over Bhutan for free. Yes, I had private screenings. Didn’t charge anything and I have no “ulterior motive”. All I want is a little bit of encouragement and appreciation for the work I have done and I believe that I can do some good work and even, never know, take Bhutan to the world of international cinema. Is it a crime or corruption to look for little appreciation. Whether I am succefull or not I lived my life for art. For me, cinema is the truth–it’s my way of finding the truth. It’s my way of connecting with the people, my way of importantly conversing with myself. It’s a way of searching my own soul and of celebrating life. After all, art celebrates life with both the tears and smiles. My name is Tashi Gyeltshen and I wrote and directed the short. My no. is 17633112. You want to watch my film give me a call. It’s for free. And I’ll will accept your crticisms on the film. Thanks.

  6. hi tashi
    like i said..it is never meant to bring down anyone ..just asked the honorable OL my doubts…and i said ..the producer “might” have ulterior motive.
    i am really sorry about that line and i take it back ..i didnt blame any party..i just had a doubt and was seeking a clarification.that is it.thanks for your offer to watch..but i can’t now.as soon as i am in Bhutan i will definitely give you a call ..i just hope it will still be available.thanks and sorry again

  7. Tashi Gyelsthen says

    By the way, it’s not only OL who watched the film. There were many and had few private screenings.

  8. I am happy to see our Bhutanese make such good documentary. Keep it up:)

  9. Your excellency,
    For me, i have a different notion than what others have mentioned. firstly i honestly congratulate you for sharing your views on that short film on HIV/AIDS; and secondly i am infact a crazy fan of your blogs, i read it every time i get time. This is indeed enlightening me in many ways.I get an opportunity to learn many new things, that would have been missed without the one with such a blog.

    If ever i have to rate a writer/author, its no doubt that it could be your excellency for me at least.
    Congratulation once more and keep us informed.

    With humble regards

  10. Sir,
    The movie is great and the maker even better!

  11. the movie was good- but could have done a lot better. One should remember, if u screened that movie to the public- would the message be conveyed? not easily for the simple reason that it is complicated. too many complications attached. Ps do not forget your target audience when it comes to films of these themes, the target that u r trying to grasp would find it a lil twisted.

    Good initiative tough but sorry OL for disagreeing with ur opinion for the first time…

  12. Kinley Dorji says

    Kudos to TG. My reflections on the film is attached below for those who still haven’t seen it. It’s worth a watch!

    “My room is my world. I created my own sky. There are stars and a moon. I will be there soon,” tells Yangchen to Death, who in the form of a man comes to take her away to the nether world. Yangchen has spent most of her life in a bleak hospital ward. Her only console to an otherwise painful life is the Red Sky that she created on the ceiling facing her. The Red Sky for Yangchen is an escape to a bright and a better life.

    “Girl with Red Sky,” is a story of a nine year old girl born with HIV/AIDS. The short film poignantly shows how dreams lay unfulfilled for an otherwise a bright and strong girl. “I wish I could go to school. I would have topped the class. I wish people didn’t have to die,” says Yangchen to her nurse.

    The film, shot mostly at night, successfully creates an atmosphere of darkness, pain and the inevitability of death. A metaphor to the pain and suffering that people living with HIV/AIDS has to go through.

    The film is also a tale of a strong girl who accepts her fate with admirable patience and endurance in the face of adversity. She becomes a symbol of courage and hope. The film also subtlety touches on the Buddhist belief of rebirth, compassion and forgiveness. Yangchen tells Death that she is not angry at her parents for infecting her with HIV/AIDS. “I want to be reborn to my parents again but without HIV/AIDS,” she says.

  13. Damcho Thrienlee Gyeltshen says

    Hi Tashi,
    this is not to encourage or discourage you but, for you to get your step up, take your mind free, raise your head high, and shift your feet forward.
    may i borrow your both hands in collaboration width my hand to celebrate your success?

    Thumbs up!!!!! lets cheer the beginning of Bhutanese cinema…

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