Set in the 1970s, the ‘Arrows of the Thunder Dragon’ follows a brother and sister Kuenphen and Jamyang where, in a remote village, they learn traditional archery from their old warrior grandfather.
The respected but eccentric old man uses a heavy hand and strict discipline to train young Kuenphen in the art of traditional archery.
It becomes clear that Kuenphen has opportunities to further his interests while his sister Jamyang is expected to stay home and follow the traditional woman’s way of life like her mother. But the norm for a young woman – staying in the village to weave, cook and get married – is a fate the Jamyang is not willing to accept without a fight.
When Kuenphen has to leave the village to take his mother on a 3-day walk to the old castle for medical treatment, Jamyang’s own desire to explore the wider world is awakened.
Filmed entirely on location in the breathtaking mountains of Bhutan, many of the actors are local highland village people. It is a must watch film in that the story examines the gentle toughness required to overcome all odds – and come on top shining.
The idea for ‘Arrows of the Thunder Dragon’ was conceived by Australian native Greg Sneddon during a visit to Bhutan. When Greg returned to Australia, he started writing the script and in time began the pre-production for a 90 minute feature film.
Greg had first travelled to Bhutan way back in 2011 and had instantly fallen in love with the country. This film is his way of giving back to a society he has come to love and respect.
‘Arrows of the Thunder Dragon’ was shot over a two-year period at various remote locations in western and central Bhutan. Internationally acclaimed film editor Jill Bilcock, also an Australian, who worked on films such as Moulin Rouge, Road to Perdition and Romeo and Juliet, saw a rough cut and agreed to edit the film.
Production of the film was entirely self-funded. This gave an advantage of a streamlined creative workflow where Greg was able to quickly modify the script according to changes in circumstances as the Bhutan shoots ran into many challenges. Now complete, the film is signed with international distributor Wide Management. It has had market screenings at the Berlinale and Cannes Film Festival.