Honeygiver Among the Dogs
Gateway | Dragons & Tigers
When a woman goes missing from a small village, cop Kinley (Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk) is put on the case. His number one suspect is sexy dame Choden (Sonam Tashi Choden); as he investigates he finds himself falling under her spell. Yes, this is film noir territory, but we’re far from the usual hardboiled milieu: the country is Bhutan, the missing woman is a Buddhist abbess and the femme fatale has some very special powers—the locals call her a demoness. Sexy and beguiling, Choden is also a figure of nobility, and as our hero draws closer to her she becomes almost sanctified—even as her wiles ensnare him.
Rural Bhutan makes a great setting for this tale of alienation and enchantment: the thick, misty air, dewy green grass and bare, open spaces are heavily atmospheric. Add a village full of religious believers and you have a sense of a place unspoiled, existing in a private sphere. Kinley is adrift there; when the story takes him to the city he finds himself on more familiar territory, though by then the intrigue has deepened so much he can barely keep up. With secrets that are a thrill to discover, this film is powerful enough to seduce and subtle enough to have you parsing its mysteries long after the case has been solved.
"Beautiful and inventive… an ethereal reinvention of a long-running genre."—Clarence Tsui, Hollywood Reporter