The Monk and the Gun is a 2023 drama film directed, written and co-produced by Pawo Choyning Dorji. Starring Tandin Wangchuk, Deki Lhamo, Pema Zangmo Sherpa, Tandin Sonam, Harry Einhorn, Choeying Jatsho, Tandin Phubz, Yuphel Lhendup Selden and Kelsang Choejay. It is a co-production between Bhutan, France, United States and Taiwan.
It was selected as the Bhutanese entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 96th Academy Awards, and was one of the 15 finalist films in the December shortlist.
Set in 2006, the Kingdom of Bhutan is looking to become a democracy, so looking to hold an election, government officials organize a mock election as a training exercise. In the town of Ura, an old lama orders a monk to get a pair of weapons to face the imminent change in the kingdom. Meanwhile, an American antique weapons collector lands in Bhutan in search of a valuable rifle that falls into the monk’s hands.
- Harry Einhorn as Ron Colman
- Tandin Wangchuk as Tashi
- Deki Lhamo as Tshomo
- Pema Zangmo Sherpa as Tshering Yangden
- Tandin Sonam as Benji
- Choeying Jatsho as Choephel
- Tandin Phubz as Phurba
- Yuphel Lhendup Selden
- Kelsang Choejay
The Monk and the Gun had its world premiere on September 1, 2023, at the 50th Telluride Film Festival, and then screened on September 9 in the Centerpiece section of the 48th Toronto International Film Festival. It was also invited at the 28th Busan International Film Festival in the ‘A Window on Asian Cinema’ section and was screened in October 2023. In October 2023, Roadside Attractions acquired the North American distribution rights to the film, and a U.S. release is scheduled for February 2, 2024.
The film has received numerous positive reviews. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 100% of 13 critics’ reviews are positive, with an average rating of 8/10. Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 74 out of 100, based on 4 critics, indicating “generally favorable” reviews.
Deadline Hollywood’s chief film critic Pete Hammond called it one of the best films in the 50th Telluride Film Festival, writing that there was “no sophomore jinx here, this one is even better than Pawo Choyning Dorji’s first, and that is saying something”, and that the director “presents a gentle satirical jab at American democracy, but shows the difficulties of changing a society whose pure and lovely innocence stands in the way of a political revolution, even as they are also just discovering James Bond and The Spice Girls”.
The Monk and the Gun won the Showcase Audience Choice Award for the 2023 Vancouver International Film Festival. The film was also awarded the Special Jury Prize at the 2023 Rome Film Festival.
Alex Billington of the First Showing described the film as “a fascinating philosophical look at life in Bhutan, which was told with confidence and filmed absolutely perfectly”, hailing it as “a brilliant satirical commentary on America’s stubborn ways, as opposed to the more sensible Bhutan society based in Buddhism. Not only is watching The Monk and the Gun such a pleasant and uplifting experience, it’s the kind of film that will leave you profoundly affected by the story.” Billington further added that the film was “one-of-a-kind”, and that it “[provided] a profoundly distinct perspective on Buddhist philosophy and Himalayan culture that many are entirely unfamiliar with and can’t quite make sense of”.
Stephen Farber from The Hollywood Reporter positively highlights the film’s sense of humor along with its lively and piquant narration, although unnecessary complications arise in the development of the story. He also praised the persuasive performances of the entire cast.
* This biography or article is a copyright of Uzomedia TV, please refer-back to our blog if you wish to copy or pin back our articles.*
* For car insurance, Home Insurance, Insurance companies, Auto insurance Public liability insurance, Cheap Insurance, Loans,liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, small business insurance, Health and Fitness, Real Estate, Digital Marketing, Automobile and more visit our contact page.*