Education About Asia: Online Archives

Angry Monk: Reflections on Tibet

Download PDF

DIRECTED AND PRODUCED
BY LUC SHAEDLER
DISTRIBUTED BY
FIRST RUN/ICARUS FILMS
DVD, 97 minutes, color, 2005

Reviewed by Andrew Quintman

Luc Schaedler’s rich and timely film Angry Monk: Reflections on Tibet opens with a series of contrasting and provocative images: Tibetan boys toss firecrackers in an alleyway of the old Tibetan capital as a pair of monks walk by. A devout pilgrim prostrates himself across Lhasa’s trash-ridden streets, narrowly avoiding the late-night taxi traffic. Caretakers of the country’s holiest shrine segue into Tibetan line-dancers performing to electronic music in a local nightclub. a woman stares blankly toward the camera as she stands before a billboard of the Potala Palace—formerly the Dalai Lama’s winter residence —capped with the tri-lingual caption: “thank you for your support and help from Beijing.” young men play a video game whose background features a golden Buddha reclining in the posture of his passing away. How, the film seems to ask even before its title appears, are we to make sense of the complex and composite images that encapsulate contemporary Tibet?