Film Review: THE SAD MONK, Documentary

Played at the March 2017 DOCUMENTARY Festival

THE SAD MONK, 11min. Germany
Directed by Diana Frankovic

Following this path to Nepal, we meet the young Tibetan buddhist monk Tenzin, a representative of a new generation, who is grappling with the questions of life and his religion. But instead of enlightenment, we find doubtful young monks who are asking the same kind of questions about their lives as we do about ours.

Review by Kierston Drier:

 Coming to us from Germany, The Sad Monk directed by Diana Frankovic, follows Tibetan Monk Tenzin and his journey through the corporal world. Monks’ are considered followers of faith, aspiring to higher purposes and searching for greater goals than found in the material world. This is why The Sad Monk is a rare find- it showcases the struggles one must face when committing to a life of higher aspirations.

Tenzin joined the Monastery as a young boy, but as he grew, so did he yearnings for the outside world. We see him weaves his way through the emotional up and downs of a life of solitude, a lack of material possessions, sexual frustration, longing for close personal friendships outside of the monastery, and a desire to see the world. As Tenzin even states, Monks must do everything alone, even experience joy.

What is most captivating about this bright and brilliant piece, outside of the fascinating character of Tenzin and the unique approach to his life- is the music. We may often think of a mon living a life of quiet reflection, but Tenzin lives in a world of vibrant sound. The bustle of the towns and streets surrounding the monastery are ever present, perhaps a constant reminder of what lives just outside of Tenzin’s reach. A poetic and beautiful look at one human life and the sacrifices made in the pursuit of our faith.

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