Set in the barren but breathtaking mountains of Mustang, in the Nepal Himalaya, Serdhak (The Golden Hill) tells the story of the everyday struggles of a hardy, high-altitude farming family, while depicting universal themes of love, longings, dreams and compromise.
Lhakpa, a young idealist and romantic, returns to his remote village with the hope of bringing modernity and progress there. But he must first learn to reconcile his city education with the harsh realities existing in the inhospitable terrain. A lone ramble up the mountains brings him back into contact with his childhood sweetheart Kunsang, who has now blossomed into a beautiful but enigmatic young woman. Initially, both maintain an appearance of disavowing their past but on a picnic with common friends their masks slip and reconciliation happens. Thereafter follows a brief spate of happiness as Lhakpa works on the farm, hangs out with Kunsang, and tries to fit into the pace of the village. But a sudden family bereavement and an offer of marriage for his sister means he must give up his dreams of becoming the first engineer of the village to take up full-time responsibilities of the farm.
Serdhak unfolds at a leisurely pace. The cast of non-professional actors adds a realist charm to the characters. Plentiful local customs, music and dance show a mountain people who, although outwardly as rugged as the environment they live in, have their own brand of humour and humanity.
Serdhak is the first Nepali film to be written and performed by Mustangis in their native Mustangi Tibetan language. It is the first Nepali film to be written and performed by Mustangis in their native Mustangi Tibetan language.