On April 25, 2015 Nepal was hit by a quake measuring 7.9 on the Richter Scale. Among the worst hit in Nepal’s 2015 earthquake was the prime trekking destination of Langtang. A glacial collapse caused an avalanche of rock, ice and mud, resulting in an airblast, equal to half the force of the Hiroshima atom bomb.
The 400-odd survivors, out of a community of 700, were evacuated from the highland, to a camp on the grounds of a Buddhist monastery in Kathmandu until their resettlement six months later.
The film shows the personal suffering wrought by the calamity, by ‘story tent’ testimonies interspersed with and serving as thematic and counterpoising elements to the activities of resettlement. While true that the return of tourists will bring back their livelihoods, is the Langtangbas’ belief denial of the enormity of their loss? Or does it reflect the changes of a people caught between an overwhelming dependence on the without, and the eclipse of their traditions?
While the foreground of the film looks at the impact of the disaster on the Langtang folks and the challenge of resettlement, the film suggests this to be the underlying conflict, just because Langtang happens to be endowed with exceptional natural beauty that has won it place on the global tourism map.
In showing the much dwindled community’s response to the disaster, until their resettlement a year later, the film reveals the transformation, profound and yet often taken for granted, that has been sweeping the Himalaya over the last decades.