THE MONK AND THE GUN
Bhutanese director Pawo Choyning Dorji immediately rocketed to the cinematic big leagues when his charming, lowkey drama LUNANA: A YAK IN THE CLASSROOM unexpectedly nabbed a nomination for Best International Feature Film at last year’s Oscars. Dorji’s second feature proves that his debut success was no fluke, delivering another lovely, emotionally affecting look at a country struggling to reconcile old customs with modern advances. THE MONK AND THE GUN takes place in 2006, as the Kingdom of Bhutan is preparing for its first democratic election. The authorities have set up a mock election to introduce voting to an uninitiated populace, but the locals remain unmoved. Meanwhile, an American antiques dealer (Harry Einhorn) has come to the village to buy a rare, Civil War-era rifle from a local monk. But the gun’s possessor isn’t willing to give it up without some savvy trading. Balancing piercing political and sociological observations with an easygoing sense of humor and warm generosity of spirit, Dorji once again shows himself to be one of contemporary cinema’s most perceptive humanists.
CAST: Tandin Wangchuk, Deki Lhamo, Pema Zangmo Sherpa, Tandin Sonam
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