- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 37 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: August 18, 2009
- Originally Released: 2005
- Label: First Run Features
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.85
- Dolby Digital Surround - English, Tibetan
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Born in Tibet in 1903, Gendun Choephel was a Buddhist monk who was believed to be the reincarnation of a respected holy man and began his religious education at the age of four. But while Choephel was a man of great faith, he was also an intelligent individual with a critical nature. He soon discovered that his willingness to question both Buddhist teachings and the policies of the Tibetan leadership earned him few friends in his homeland, especially as the Chinese government began its stranglehold on Tibetan affairs. Choephel gave up his life as a monk to pursue secular education in India. His writings and art earned him an international reputation as a man of talent and wisdom, but when he returned to Tibet, he found the land of his birth to be a far more restrictive place than when he left, and his willingness to voice his opinions had tragic consequences--he was charged with inciting political discord and died in prison in 1951. With time, Choephel became a symbol of the intellectual and spiritual freedom that was lost in Tibet when China took hold of the country, and Swiss filmmaker Luc Schaedler uses Choephel's story as a framework for examining a little-understood side of Tibet and Buddhism in ANGRY MONK: REFLECTIONS ON TIBET. This documentary received its North American premiere at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.
Gendun Choephel is a legendary figure in Tibet. Believed to be the reincarnation of a famous Buddhist lama, this promising young monk turned his back on monastic life and became a fierce critic of his country's religious conservatism, cultural isolationism and reactionary government. After leaving the monastery in 1934, and fueled by his intellectual curiosity and free-spirited nature, Choephel traveled throughout Tibet and India in order to understand the true history of his country.
Both a personal and political portrait of this pioneering and visionary intellectual, Angry Monk features rare archival footage, Choephel's paintings, and contemporary scenes of sites he visited, along with interviews with Tibetan historians, scholars, writers, and his wife.
Today Choephel is a revered figure in his homeland, and an influential symbol of hope for those seeking political and spiritual reform in a free Tibet. Angry Monk tells his story.