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The Venerable W.

Le Venerable W.

Barbet Schroeder’s documentary about a Buddhist monk espousing anti-Muslim hatred is a frighteningly resonant account of racist and nationalist rhetoric leading to horrendous violence.

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Credits

Dir-Scr Barbet Schroeder
Prod Margaret Menegoz, Lionel Baier
With the voice of Maria de Medeiros
France-Switzerland
2016
100min
Sales LES FILMS DU LOSANGE

Barbet Schroeder’s documentary about a Buddhist monk espousing anti-Muslim hatred is a frighteningly resonant account of racist and nationalist rhetoric leading to horrendous violence. Completing a ‘Trilogy of Evil’ that previously dealt with Idi Amin and ‘terror’s advocate’ Jacques Vergès, Schroeder’s latest centres on Ashin Wirathu. The Burmese monk’s rabidly Islamophobic sermons attacking Myanmar’s long-suffering Rohingya minority have fomented persecution, murder and ethnic cleansing – to which State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has turned a blind eye. The film mixes cell phone footage (some of it deeply disturbing) of riots and atrocities, filmed interviews – both with the coolly unrepentant Wirathu and with journalists and more traditionally peaceful monks critical of his vile ideology – and readings from Buddhist texts by actress Bulle Ogier. Schroeder eschews stylistic flourishes to construct an admirably direct film of near-classical clarity and restraint. Grimly illuminating and very powerful.

Geoff Andrew

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Barbet Schroeder, Director

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

Trailer

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