The Monk and the Gun

Pawo Choyning Dorji

Uplifting satirical comedy set around Bhutan’s first ever democratic elections. An American travels into Bhutan in search of a treasure. He crosses paths with a young monk, ordered by his teacher to find two guns. Beautifully made, with striking cinematography of the magnificent Himalaya.

‘Elections? It that the new pig’s disease?’ asks a young Buddhist monk. In 2008, Bhutan is preparing for its first ever democratic elections. To prepare for this, mock elections are set up in the countryside to teach rural people how to vote. This proves to be something of a challenge, since many local residents remain loyal to the king and reluctant to embrace such a dramatic change.

Meanwhile, an American visitor attempts to acquire a rare Civil War-era rifle from a local monk. This is not so easy, as there are suddenly more people interested in getting their hands on guns. Among them an elderly lama (played by real-life monk Kelsang Choejay), who wants them for a ritual ‘to make things right’.  


Pawo Choyning Dorji
Country of production
Bhutan, France, United States, Taiwan
107 minutes
Spoken language
Dzongkha, English
World Sales
Films Boutique
Dutch distributor
September Film Distribution