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Travellers & Magicians (2005)



Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 59
Fresh: 55 | Rotten: 4

Interwined tales of spiritual discovery are set against a gorgeous, evocative landscape in this pleasant, engaging import.


Average Rating: 7.7/10
Critic Reviews: 20
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 2

Interwined tales of spiritual discovery are set against a gorgeous, evocative landscape in this pleasant, engaging import.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 1,018

My Rating

Movie Info

Written and directed by Khyentse Norbu, Chang Hup The Gi Tril Nung (Travellers and Magicians) chronicles two parallel stories. The first belongs to Dondup (Tshewang Dendup), a bored mountain villager determined to move to the United States, and Tashi (Lhakpa Dorji), another restless soul whose journey led him to an affair and eventual conspiracy to murder. Tashi's story was related to Dondup by one of the fellow travelers trekking through the mountains on their way to an airplane headed for

Oct 25, 2005

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All Critics (66) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (55) | Rotten (4) | DVD (6)

Pretty enough, but one kind of hopes for a little magic in a movie with "magicians" in its title.

April 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a leisurely yet resonant film that reinforces the power of cinematic storytelling.

April 7, 2005 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mainly notable for its exoticism and gorgeous scenery.

March 16, 2005
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Refreshingly quiet and thoughtful.

March 11, 2005 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Gloriously photographed, captivatingly acted and percolating with surprises.

March 10, 2005 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dondup is the make-or-break role here, and he nails it.

March 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For Norbu, filmmaking has become his form of thangka painting

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

My first Bhutanese (Bhutanian?) film, it's a coming-to-America tale, filled with lovely clichés that are overwritten by a strong sense of authenticity.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

There is much more to Travellers & Magicians than a mere travelogue, and the journey is well worth the price of admission.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

All Norbu's posturing for a greater spiritual meaning never materialized, though it still looms as an assured work.

May 28, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

With its spiritual underpinnings and scenic splendor, the film casts a distinctive top-of-the-world spell.

May 13, 2005
Fresno Bee

It's a disappointment to report that Bhutanese filmdom is not off to a good start.

May 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

A gentle challenge to the all-American delusion that every citizen of a foreign land would be better off here.

April 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Pleasant and often beautiful.

April 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

It will probably not be long remembered, but it charms and entertains in the moment, at least.

March 28, 2005 Full Review Source:

Uses a folktale or parable to impart its message about the simple pleasures in life, and it's the telling of that story that makes it watchable and worthwhile.

March 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

There may be moments where the audience feels as restless as Dondup, eager to get a move on, but by the end you'll appreciate the way [it] lingers on the little things.

March 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

The Himalayan scenery, majestic mountains, and verdant valleys are as breathtaking and well-shot as one could hope for.

March 20, 2005 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

The film works a slow magic.

March 11, 2005 Full Review Source: Oregonian

So pretty you want to put it on your wall.

March 10, 2005 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Audience Reviews for Travellers & Magicians

[font=Century Gothic]In "Travellers and Magicians", Dondup(Tsewang Dandup) has had enough of a being a government officer in a small town in Bhutan after only a month, so he plots his escape to America, using a religious festival as cover. A friend of his has a contact who can get him an American visa. Now, all he has to do is to get to Thimphu in two days time but he misses the daily bus. While waiting, he encounters an old apple vendor(Ap Dochu) and a monk(Sonam Kinga). To pass the time, the monk tells a story...[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]"Travellers and Magicians" is a beautiful movie that has all the resonance of a public service announcement, arguing against free will and for constrained duty. Yes, children should care for their parents in their old age(but no extended families or government safety net in Bhutan?) but the younger generation need to live their own lives, finding a balance in the bargain. Worst of all, the character of the monk lends a dogmatic feel to the themes. But the movie does make a great case for patience when using mass transit.[/font]
October 20, 2006
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

This is one of the best movies which shows that Holywood has lost the plot and the art of making good movies! The Cup was the first great hit of this director but this one is much better... a story of live, a real live in Bhutan and all the challenges that live brings! Perfect for watching with a family!
October 5, 2009
Panta Oz

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Von Reisenden und Magiern (DE)
  • Travelers and Magicians (Travellers and Magicians) (UK)
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