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EthnoKino Community Member Loten Namling at Berlinale with their film "Shambala"

In the heart of the Nepalese Himalayas, the spirited Pema embraces a polyandrous marriage with Tashi and his two younger brothers. They initially lead a harmonious life, but when Tashi fails to return from a trading trip to Lhasa, the legitimacy of Pema’s unborn child is questioned by her community. Determined to prove her love and purity, she embarks on a quest to find Tashi. Accompanied by her brother-in-law, her now de facto spouse Karma, she goes into the wilderness.

Karma is a monk. After initially resisting giving up his monastic life, he gradually comes to appreciate the simple existence of a secular life. However, urgent duties call him back to the monastery and Pema is left alone. As she navigates the harsh Himalayan terrain, her quest transcends the search for her missing husband. Pema becomes increasingly immersed in a spiritual search for meaning in which every step brings her closer to self-discovery and liberation.


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