Film screening brings together Buddhist monks, sex workers

Kolkata, July 16 (IANS) In an unusual movie preview, as many as 30 Buddhist monks and 40 sex workers sat side by side here on Saturday for a screening of Bengali director Sudeep Ranjan Sarkar’s forthcoming Hindi film “Umformung-The Transformation” which revolves around a monk attaining enlightenment not in a monastery but in a brothel.

“The monk gets enlightenment in the brothel, not in the monastery, not in the presence of his masters but in the presence of sex workers who ultimately show him the reality of life in a way that has never been shown in Indian films,” Sarkar told IANS about the movie.

Penned and directed by Sarkar, a criminal psychologist by profession, the two hour feature deals with two parallel plots – one concerning a Buddhist monk living in a secluded monastery searching for truth, and the other about a female business tycoon who understands power, position and wealth.

The film has garnered 19 awards globally in various film festivals including at the World Film Award, Jakarta and 10th Free Spirit Festival. It also looks at Buddhism as a way of life and how detachment is the ultimate truth.

“The film deals with complete transformation. I came across this unique name ‘Umformung’ which is German word. I came across this word in the context of World War I where a few seconds before death… what becomes completely immaterial to them,” Sarkar said.

Produced by NEZ moving pixels & KLK productions, the movie releases worldwide on August 26.

“The message I want to spread is we should pause and ask ‘why you are doing… what you are doing’ and just go on,” Sarkar added.



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