Broken Vows # 198

Broken Vows

09:15, Friday 14th June, CMB 1&2

rai 198 broken-vows

  • Director/Anthropologist: Kaska Butkiewicz-Phuntsok
  • Year of Release: 2012
  • Duration: 20 mins
  • Country of Production: UK
  • Location: London, Ladakh, Tibet
  • Language: Tibetan, English


It’s an intimate story about ex-Tibetan Budhist monks who have broken their vows. In the traditional Tibetan community boys are very often sent to monasteries to learn Buddhist philosophy. For them it is a chance to gain education, for families to secure their future and sometimes to spare family modest means of subsistence. Achieving the status of monk related to a great respect in the community. Most of novices keep monastic vows lifelong. Very few resign from monkhood venturing into the outside world they hardly know.

The film is an interview with three ex-monks, who share their personal experience about the monastic life, their transition to secularity and their dilemmas related to that change. A change which even now costs them emotional turmoil.

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Organised by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain & Ireland (RAI) since 1985, it is an itinerant festival that moves biennially from one university host to another, in association with local community and cultural organisations.

The festival will be held from Thursday 13 June to Sunday 16 June 2013 in Edinburgh, hosted by National Museums Scotland and the STAR consortium. Scottish Training in Anthropological Research (STAR) is a collaboration between the Universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and St. Andrews. Over 60 new films will be screened alongside a conference 'New Observations' and a selection of special events and workshop about art & anthropology and the use of archival film.

The RAI Film Festival is held in collaboration with the Center for Visual Anthropology, University of Southern California.

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