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The Monk and the Gun

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On the eve of the Kingdom of Bhutan’s momentous transition to democracy in 2006, a monk sets off on a mysterious quest for his master, while an American collector arrives in a small town searching for a rare, valuable artefact. Director Pawo Choyning Dorji’s debut film, the first Oscar-nominated Bhutanese film, Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, was a heartwarming, tranquil vision of rural life in the Himalayas. The Monk and the Gun is equally attuned to seeking simple, profound truths; an entertaining tale about the conflict between tradition and progress and a gentle ensemble drama interwoven with an entertaining comedy of manners and socio-political commentary. The Monk and the Gun shows the intricate dynamics of Bhutan’s cultural bonds, and not only tells a great story with its cast of colourful characters, but speaks to the warmth at the heart of the country itself.

Relaxed yet perceptive, The Monk And the Gun is a freewheeling convergence of modernity and tradition, the urban and the rural.
Screen International


Media Partner


Tandin Wangchuk, Deki Lhamo, Pema Zangmo Sherpa, Tandin Sonam, Harry Einhorn

Country of Origin







In Dzongkha and English with English subtitles

107 min
Comedy Drama

Book Tickets

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Pawo Choyning Dorji


Jigmé T. Tenzing


Hsiao-Yun Ku

Original Music

Frédéric Alvarez


Pawo Choyning Dorji headshot

Pawo Choyning Dorji

Pawo Choyning Dorji is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker from the Kingdom of Bhutan. Pawo’s introduction to film came in 2012 when he worked as Khyentse Norbu’s assistant for Vara: a Blessing. In 2016 he produced Norbu’s critically acclaimed Bhutanese feature Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait. The film had its world premiere at the 69th Festival del film Locarno. His directing debut Lunana: a Yak in the Classroom was nominated at the Academy Awards for Best International Feature in 2021, the first Bhutanese film to be so recognized.

Filmography: Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (2021)

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