The Venerable W review – the poisonous monk behind Myanmar's anti-Muslim vendetta

The Venerable W review – the poisonous monk behind Myanmar's anti-Muslim vendetta

This intimate documentary on Ashin Wirathu, the Buddhist fanatic whose ideas have brought down Aung Sun Suu Kyi, is a bleak study of sectarianism by Barbet Schroeder

Barbet Schroeder’s overpoweringly bleak documentary about the Buddhist monk stirring up ethnic hate against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims is the third in what has now emerged as his “trilogy of evil” – a trio of disquieting documentaries of which the first two were General Idi Amin Dada in 1974 and Terror’s Advocate in 2007 about the genial, cigar-smoking Jacques Vergès, lawyer for Klaus Barbie.

The Venerable W delivers a nauseous, almost black-comic jab at any liberal who fondly believed that Buddhism and Buddhists somehow float ethereally free of the sectarianism and bigotry that infect any other religion. And it also emerges as a devastating indictment of someone who is not its subject and appears only briefly: Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader who is now increasingly resembling a passive-aggressive Eva Perón, or perhaps a Mother Teresa, but the way Christopher Hitchens considered her: as a self-important matriarch of nationalism.

Continue reading…

15
Like
Save

Comments

Comments are disabled for this post.