Once free to farm in the most remote part of the Himalayas, today the people labor on the ambitious road to Zanskar, which will soon connect both sides of their valley.
Their days are devoted to breaking rocks with sledgehammers, dynamiting sections of cliffs and smoothing piles of sand and gravel by hand. Along with impoverished laborers from India, they toil endlessly to complete this colossal project designed to modernize the region, and it comes at a huge cost. They’ve already relinquished much of their land and herds to focus on the project, and their lives are filled with uncertainty. They worry about their future when the road is finally finished, and when the world can easily access their region.
There will be unexpected freedom and opportunities to live in greater comfort… but the harmonious and delicate balance they’ve achieved over generations - despite the extreme climate - will be lost.
Direction: Marianne Chaud
Production: ZED for ARTE France
Delivery: Spring 2025