The Genie in the Light Bulb


Today 1,600,000 people live according to the rhythm of the sun, for they have no access to electricity. Their life-style is minimalist, ritualized; each individual keeps to his or her role. But people are struggling to change this situation.

This film tells the story of the arrival of electricity in Hathine, a tiny, isolated village in the forbidden mountains of Northern Laos -- one of the last Communist countries in the world, on the borders of China and Vietnam.

One sunny morning the village headman announces that electrical current will soon arrive. With it will come comfort, development, modernity and wealth. Refrigerators will keep food fresh for longer. Children will do their homework under the streetlamps.

The first shops strung with multi-coloured lights appear, and in them the first cold drinks that any villager has tasted. Electricity brings progress, unquestionably. But does that progress bring happiness?

Genie in the Light Bulb