Fakultäten » Philosophische Fakultät » Sozialanthropologie und Empirische Kulturwissenschaft, Institut für » Völkerkundemuseum » Prof. Dr. Mareile Flitsch » Schaedler

Completed research project

Title / Titel angry monk - reflections on tibet
(a documentary film project)
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Original title / Originaltitel angry monk - reflections on tibet
(a docunmentary film project)
Summary / Zusammenfassung The film "angry monk - reflections on tibet" is about the Tibetan monk Gendun Choephel (1903-51), who found his robes and his society too constricting for his imagination. The documentary tells the story of an individual who left his mark on Tibetan culture and recently became a figure of identification for a younger generation of Tibetans in Tibet and in exile.

Gendun Choephel’s life spans a crucial period in Tibet, between the British invasion of 1903 and the Chinese occupation in 1951. Brought violently into the twentieth century by the colonizing British, Tibet proclaimed independence in 1913 and then underwent several decades of internal struggle between reform and recidivism. During this time, when Tibet remained closed to the world, Gendun Choephel was open to new experiences and ideas, which he documented in his writing, articles, pictures and sketches.

Formally the film follows the journeys of this rebellious monk whose intellectual curiosity led him to challenge the ancient traditions of Old Tibet. By focusing on the people whom Gendun Choephel influenced and the land across which he travelled, the film provides a vivid antidote to the idealized, esoteric image of Tibet.

In the West, however, we have a tendency to idealize Tibet. We prefer to see Tibetans as poor victims rather than as agents of their own history. Gendun Choephel’s life story is a powerful alternative to this Western image of Tibet. By following the footsteps of the monk, the film critically examines the recent history of Tibet and challenges our idealized picture by focusing on "everyday" Tibet in the here and now.
Weitere Informationen
Publications / Publikationen Buddhismus im Spielfilm, in: Joachim Valentin (Hrsg.), Weltreligionen im Film, Film und Theologie 3, Schüren Verlag, Marburg 2002

Weitere Informationen

Keywords / Suchbegriffe tibet, china, india, monk, buddhism, politics, reform, stagnation, myth, myth of tibet, gendun, choephel, old society, exile
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Luc Schaedler (Project Leader)
Prof. Michael Oppitz  
Other links to external web pages
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
Foundation, Others
Steo Stiftung
Reiser-Siemssen Stiftung
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Sep 2000 to Sep 2005