82 min | USA | 2020

Mikma and her family collect medicinal herbs around their home nestled in the Himalaya of northeastern Nepal, before making an annual 300-kilometer migration, partly on foot and partly by ramshackle bus, to urban markets in the lowlands. The extension of the first road to, and through, their off-the-beaten-path village is fitfully underway, promising less walking and perhaps a less arduous life in some distant future. Road engineers take bribes to avoid destroying homes, while laborers produce gravel, hammering down individual stones by hand. The herb collectors plot to avoid shakedowns by police and bus operators as they miraculously make their way to market. This observational film is a deep dive into a way of life that is in a slow and chaotic—and yet inexorable—transition.

Lucas Millard/ Kate Stryker

Deepan Acharya

Original Language
Nepali/ Lhomi/ Nawa

Lucas Millard/ Kate Stryker

Lucas Millard/ Kate Stryker

Producer (executive producer)
Kesang Tseten

Eric Daniel Metzgar

About The Filmmakers

Lucas Millard

Lucas Millard is an award-winning New York-based filmmaker and cinematographer. Feature films he has shot include The Happy Poet (Venice Biennale 2010), Kiki (Sundance 2016), and Well Groomed (SXSW 2019). His work has aired on HBO, Showtime, the Sundance Channel, BET, PBS, France5, and RSI (SwissTV). Millard has an MFA in film production from the University of Texas at Austin, teaches part-time at Ramapo College, and occasionally leads workshops in cinematography and filmmaking. He also produces documentary and animated content for clients such as the UN and TED-Ed. Millard lives with his wife, daughter, and two chickens in the Hudson Valley, where he programs content for the Beacon Film Society.

Kate Stryker

Kate Stryker is interested in stories that explore the intersection of people and their natural and built environments. She has directed two short documentary portraits: Roadside Gospel (DeadCenter 2007) and Ananda (Visionquest 2014, KIMFF 2014). Baato is her first feature film. By day, Stryker works as a research planner investigating topics of community development, housing, infrastructure, and sustainability. She holds a Master’s degree in Education from NYU and a Master’s in Urban Planning from Hunter College


Lucas Millard