According to its synopsis, “angry monk—reflections on tibet” is about a progressive Buddhist monk, Gendun Choephel, who traveled far and wide to discover, and ultimately publish, an accurate history of Tibet, free of the spiritual cloud that had otherwise been disrupting any real accounts. That’s great, but I honestly can’t tell you whether the film achieved that.
Why? Because the film is sadistically boring. Boring to the extent that one should be issued speed, cocaine, caffeine or whatever “upper” you choose prior to watching and then during have someone come by every so often to punch you in the head to make sure you’re still awake. I valiantly stayed awake without any sort of chemical assistance (why did I quit caffeine so long ago) or physical suggestions (okay, maybe I slapped my face once or twice), but I couldn’t follow the damn film. The only things I walked away with after having seen the film are that the monk’s name was Gendun Choephel, he liked drinking and having sex more than one normally gives monks credit for and he wrote some sort of historical account of Tibet. I guess, if you look closely, you can get the synopsis out of that sentence (historical account, check… sex and drinking equals progressive, check… monk’s name, check) so maybe I did actually follow the film after all but… I don’t think so. I’m sure this film will find its home on an educational shelf somewhere, and in five years college history students will be falling asleep during class screenings instead of at film festivals.
At 97 minutes, it felt like years had passed. If you have a sado-masochistic urge to bore yourself into a Zen state known as “sleep,” check this film out. If you value your time, and your ability to not drool or snore in public, steer clear of this one.