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Both a personal and political portrait of this pioneering and visionary intellectual (who also renounced the "false duty of monastic obligations" and smoked, drank and was married), 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.
Absorbing! A very useful perspective on recent Tibetan history. --The Vancouver Sun
An exceptional documentary of a fascinating character. Highly recommended! --Educational Media Reviews Online
Top Customer Reviews
Disillusioned with a culture that worshiped tradition and feared innovation, Choephel left the stifling regimen of monastic life in 1934 in the company of Rahul Sankrityayan, an Indian scholar of Buddhism and communist activist for Indian independence. Traveling to India, Choephel stepped into a world of wonders, a land criss-crossed by trains, peopled with merchants and businessmen engaged in trade with the outside world, and united in throwing off British imperialism. Enraptured and eager to experience it all, Choephel shrugged off his monastic habits and began an inner exploration of sensual pleasure through tobacco, alcohol and women. All the while he was writing in his diary, painting, sketching, completing the first ever Tibetan translation of the Kama Sutra, publishing a pilgrim's guide to the sacred Buddhist sites of India, contributing reports on the outside world to an emigre newspaper, and beginning work on a non-religious history of Tibet.
Arriving back in Lhasa, Choephel found his reputation had preceded him and was promptly thrown into jail, tortured, and left to rot until being released only months before the Chinese invasion of 1950. With any hope for reform crushed by the arrival of Mao's army, Choephel entered an intense period of inebriation from which he never recovered, passing away in 1951 at the age of 48.Read more ›
--"A gritty, insightful film about the tragic life of a radical Tibetan artist and intellectual... A compelling story, beautifully told."
Jamyang Norbu (December 11, 2005), Author of the award winning novel, The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes
--"Luc Schaedler's absorbing film is a valuable introduction to an intriguing scholar and offers a very useful perspective on recent Tibetan history. Who knew that Tibetans keep pictures of Chairman Mao on their walls to ward off
The Vancouver Sun (October 12, 2005)
CommonGround.ca (October 2005)
--"Schaedler throws the myths away, producing an alternative assessment of Tibet's past and present that is eye-opening indeed."
Terminal City, Vancouver (September 2005)
--"ANGRY MONK is an eye-opener for romantic Western visions. Largely ignored or reviled in his lifetime, the 'angry monk' Choephel has become an important figure in a rapidly changeing Tibet". 24hours.ca (October 5, 2005)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed and benefitted from this documentary, "Angry Monk." It's in my permanent collection and I will watch it again soon. Read morePublished on November 27, 2013 by Shirley Mason
Oh know not another movie on Tibet.I could only do 45 minutes before I feel a sleep. It seemed to be 2 movies in one . Read morePublished on January 22, 2013 by Ernest J. Kemp
Gendun Choephel was a true Mahatma and visionary ahead of its time. This film reflects on his mystical explorations, daring travels, and spiritual challenges. Read morePublished on December 22, 2009 by Carlos Del Campo