Archive of films Monk / The Monk

Barma / Czech Republic
2014, 93 min

Section: Forum of Independents - Competition
Year: 2014

Zawana enters a Burmese monastery filled with the misgivings and uncertainty that come in part with the inexperience of youth. When the superior, U Dahma, falls ill, the youngster takes up an unexpected challenge. This sensitive film, enhanced by its unique setting, was made in a Burmese-Czech coproduction.


Zawana is confronted with several paths that open out defiantly before him, and he has to choose which one to take as the next step on his life’s journey. The youth enters a small village monastery somewhere in Burma, led by its superior U Dahma. Zawana and the other novices are, as befits their age, playful and disobedient, and they find it hard to abide by the laws of the monastic robe. However, when U Dahma, who hasn’t been running the monastery with a particularly firm hand, falls ill, the young man realises that perhaps it’s time to step out resolutely onto one of the paths and surrender to the school of life – and not only because his superior’s death could mean the closure of the monastery. This fragile film draws the viewer into a remarkable environment, intelligibly portraying a vulnerable and crucial period in the protagonists’ lives without superfluous dialogue. The story moves away from aspects of meditation and even spirituality, focusing more on universal values and desires, whose fulfilment itself presents a difficult challenge.

About the director

The Maw Naing

The Maw Naing (b. 1971, Myingyan, Burma) is a Burmese poet, performer, artist and filmmaker. He studied Burmese literature and IT; he also attended the Yangon Film School and took part in the English-language AP Program at Prague’s FAMU. His first poetry collection came out in 2004, combining surrealist images with a commentary on the recent political upheavals in his native country. Poems he has written often form part of installations, performances and films (e.g. the documentary Again and Again, 2008), that have won prizes and continue to be the focus of interest all over the world. He made several shorts at FAMU; his first feature-length documentary Nargis: When Time Stopped Breathing (2012) won several awards at international festivals. The Monk is his feature film debut.


Studio FAMU
Klimentská 4, 110 00, Praha 1
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 224 810 329, +420 222 310 527
Fax: +420 222 310 692
E-mail: [email protected]

Ostrovní 30, 110 00, Praha 1
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 777 697 543, +420 224 933 755
Fax: +420 224 933 472
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, DCP
World premiere

Section: Forum of Independents - Competition
Director: The Maw Naing
Screenplay: Aung Min
Dir. of Photography: Tin Win Naing
Editor: Zaw Win Htwe
Producer: Vít Janeček
Production: FAMU – Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts
Coproduction: The Maw Naing
Cast: Kyaw Nyi Thu, Thein Shwe, Han Nawe Nyein, Moe San
Contact: Negativ
Distributor: Studio FAMU


Vít Janeček

Film Director, Film Director / Producer

The Maw Naing

Film Director / Producer

Aung Min


Marta Švecová

Festival Organizer, Film Institution Rep., Sales Agent

Jan Richtr

Film Crew, Film Crew, Sound Editor


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