The Venerable W.
Q&As with Barbet Schroeder following the screenings on 10/13 and 10/14
The Islamophobic Burmese monk known as The Venerable Wirathu has led hundreds of thousands of his Buddhist followers in a hate-fueled, violent campaign of ethnic cleansing, in which the country’s tiny minority of Muslims were driven from their homes and businesses and penned in refugee camps on the Myanmar border. Barbet Schroder’s portrait of this man again proves, along with his General Idi Amin Dada (1974) and Terror’s Advocate (2007), that the director is a brilliant interviewer, allowing power-hungry fascists to damn themselves with their own testimony. His confrontation with Wirathu—a figure whose existence contradicts the popular belief that Buddhism is the most peaceful and tolerant major religion—is revelatory and horrifying. A release from Les Films du Losange. Special thanks to French Cultural Services.
What Are You Up to, Barbet Schroeder? (2017, 13m), in which the director traces the path that led him to Myanmar, a center of Theravada Buddhism, where racial hatred was mutating into genocide.