A single-mother treks across the rugged Himalayan mountains of Nepal, along with a family of winter-migrants, to give up her only son to foster care.
In the remote, isolated Upper Mustang region of the Nepali Himalayas, we meet 26-year-old single mother Khando who, impoverished and illiterate, toils on other people’s farms in exchange for buckwheat to feed her seven-year-old son, Dhondup. Due to her long working hours, Khando is forced to leave Dhondup unsupervised for much of the day, and the boy regularly bunks off school to roam the mountains—getting into mischief and gaining a reputation that exceeds his years.
Fearing Dhondup will end up uneducated like herself, Khando searches for a benefactor to give him a better upbringing. When the village monk finds a potential guardian in the city, Khando joins a family of winter migrants on the arduous trek to lower altitudes, to give up her unsuspecting son. The journey is fraught with incident, as characters from a cross-section of the mountain community interact, differences surface and conflicts are negotiated.
Filmed with quiet grace against spectacular backdrops, Ama Khando’s themes of love, loss and identity simmer subtly beneath the surface.
“Ama Khando comes straight from the heart, because it is drawn from the life of my own mother. It is important for me because she is the only family I have in this world and, as she ages, I hope the film will keep her story alive.” - Dhondup Tsering, Writer and Director
Interview with the Director, Tibetscapes, December 14, 2020
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1 x 98 Minutes
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"A poignant journey of separation, resilience, love and identity." -Tibetscapes
"However, within this simple story of separation, the film explores many complicated issues of migration, racial discrimination and the impact of modernisation on one’s culture. This makes the movie poignant and filled with significant subtext." - The Kathmandu Post
"A road movie where the characters are real." - Nepali Times
"A moving relationship between mother and son." -Nagarik News
Won Best National Feature and Best National Director awards at the Nepal International Film Festival 2021
Busan International Film Festival, 2019
Dharamshala International Film Festival, 2019
Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival, 2019, Audience Award