A Balinese boy’s imaginative journey towards recovery from Tourette’s Syndrome (25 min)

The film focuses on a growing boy, Wayan Yoga, and is not so much about illness as it is an exploration of the protective aspects of culture that may guide developmental neuropsychiatric processes. At six years old, Wayan Yoga is an energetic boy who flies kites and is obsessed with the monsters of Balinese mythology. He also has various tics, which move his parents to seek treatment. At twenty, he is a young man planning his career as a chef and an expressive Balinese dancer.

Ultimately, Wayan Yoga’s tics are insignificant to his evolving sense of self-compared to the saturation of symbols, images, and narratives of his culture. While Wayan must learn to negotiate the kinds of movements, interests, and goals that are culturally appropriate, the protective buffer of his family guides him successfully into normative Balinese adulthood.

I dare to fight giants, monsters and demons.
— Wayan Yoga, age 5

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Robert Lemelson
Robert Lemelson
Alessandra Pasquino
Wing Ko
Pietro Scalia
Chisako Yokoyama
Malcolm Cross


Consulting Editor
Music Composer



  • Kites and Mon­sters, Win­ner, 2nd Place Short Doc­u­men­tary Com­pe­ti­tion, “Best Edit­ing,” “Best Sound Design,” Los Ange­les New Wave Film Fes­ti­val, Los Ange­les, CA, 2013

  • Afflic­tions 2011, Semi-Finalist, Moon­dance Film Fes­ti­val, Boul­der, CO, 2012

  • Afflic­tions 2011, Win­ner, Award of Excel­lence, The Indie Fest, 2011


  • Kites and Mon­sters, World­Kids Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, Mum­bai, india, 2012

  • Kites and Mon­sters, Hum­boldt Film Fes­ti­val, Hum­boldt, CA 2013

  • Afflic­tions 2011, Third World Indie Film Fes­ti­val, Mil­pi­tas, CA, 2011

  • Afflic­tions 2011, Cinesol Film Fes­ti­val, Har­lin­gen, TX.


  • Kites and Mon­sters, Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Child & Ado­les­cent Psy­chi­a­try / Cana­dian Acad­emy of Child and Ado­les­cent Psy­chi­a­try Annual Meet­ing, Toronto, Canada, 2011

  • Kites and Mon­sters, 111th Amer­i­can Anthro­po­log­i­cal Con­fer­ence, San Fran­cisco, CA, 2012

  • Kites and Mon­sters, UCLA Indone­sian Stud­ies Con­fer­ence, Los Ange­les, CA, 2012


  • Kites and Mon­sters, UCLA Mind, Med­i­cine and Cul­ture Group, Los Ange­les, CA, 2011

  • Kites and Mon­sters, Rut­gers Uni­ver­sity, Com­par­a­tive Reli­gion Class, Newark, NJ, 2012