THE VENERABLE W. Unclassified 18+
Barbet Schroeder completes his "trilogy of evil" with a stunning portrayal of xenophobic demagoguery in an unexpected quarter: Buddhist monks in the Republic of Myanmar.
In 1974, Iranian-born Swiss-French director Barbet Schroeder gained unprecedented access to the brutal Ugandan despot in order to film General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait. Three decades later, he turned his documentary eye to controversial lawyer Jacques Vergès for Terror’s Advocate (MIFF 2007). Now he rounds out the trilogy with an immersive voyage to Myanmar, where he meets a firebrand Buddhist monk, The Venerable Wirathu.
Belying our stereotypical image of Buddhism as an innately pacifistic, tolerant religion, Schroeder shows Wirathu whipping up his acolytes into violent pogroms against the country’s Muslim minority. Linking Wirathu’s hate speech to Islamophobia in the West, Schroeder aims to get to the heart of racism in one of its most chilling manifestations.
"Shot on the hoof, under the noses of a repressive regime, The Venerable W. is a fine, stirring documentary about ethnic cleansing in action." – Screen Daily
Contains archival footage of real killings.
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