The Monk and the Gun - Expat Cinema Rotterdam

Pawo Choyning Dorji

Who remembers the Oscar-nominated film Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, one of the summer hits of 2019 from Bhutan, knows what to expect. The naive tone of Lunana has gained a bit more edge in Pawo Choyning Dorji’s latest film, but it remains a story of heartwarming beauty.

The Monk and the Gun is an ironic satire about a pivotal moment in the history of one of the most closed countries in the world: Bhutan’s transition from monarchy to parliamentary democracy in 2008. Modernization has finally arrived. Bhutan is finally connected to the internet and television, and most importantly, democracy. To teach the local population how to vote, the authorities organize mock elections, but the people seem unconvinced.

In the countryside, where religion is more popular than politics, one of the election monitors discovers that a monk is planning a mysterious ceremony for election day. And then there’s an American tourist trying to obtain a rare gun from the civil war from a local monk. This is not easy, as suddenly more people are interested in the weapon. Among them is an old lama, who wants it for a ritual to “set things right.”

The Monk and the Gun intertwines humor with relevant reflections on the clash between Western and Eastern values, between tradition and modernization. Funny, clever, and – as expected – with beautiful images of a unique country.

wo 31 jul
  • 19:00
Kaarten
€ 12
  • filmspecial
Bhutan
2023
107’
Engels, Dzongkha gesproken
Engels ondertiteld
AL

Who remembers the Oscar-nominated film Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, one of the summer hits of 2019 from Bhutan, knows what to expect. The naive tone of Lunana has gained a bit more edge in Pawo Choyning Dorji’s latest film, but it remains a story of heartwarming beauty.

The Monk and the Gun is an ironic satire about a pivotal moment in the history of one of the most closed countries in the world: Bhutan’s transition from monarchy to parliamentary democracy in 2008. Modernization has finally arrived. Bhutan is finally connected to the internet and television, and most importantly, democracy. To teach the local population how to vote, the authorities organize mock elections, but the people seem unconvinced.

In the countryside, where religion is more popular than politics, one of the election monitors discovers that a monk is planning a mysterious ceremony for election day. And then there’s an American tourist trying to obtain a rare gun from the civil war from a local monk. This is not easy, as suddenly more people are interested in the weapon. Among them is an old lama, who wants it for a ritual to “set things right.”

The Monk and the Gun intertwines humor with relevant reflections on the clash between Western and Eastern values, between tradition and modernization. Funny, clever, and – as expected – with beautiful images of a unique country.