Special Screenings | Update : 10.04.18 . 3:10 PM

Barbet Schroeder completes the final part in his trilogy of evil with Le Vénérable W. (The Venerable W.)

Film still of Le Vénérable W. (The Venerable W.)

Film still of Le Vénérable W. (The Venerable W.) © RR

Following his invitation to Cannes for Général Idi Amin Dada (1974), The Terror's Advocate (2007) and more recently Amnesia (2015), Barbet Schroeder is reconnecting with the theme of evil in Le Vénérable W. (The Venerable W.), a documentary that exposes the everyday racism suffered by Muslim people in Burma. Special Screening.

Le Vénérable W. plunges us into heart of Burmese society where racism, islamophobia and hate speech reigns over a population that is 90% Buddhist, a religion that is, however, based on a way of life that is pacifist, tolerant and non-violent.

In the same vein as Général Idi Amin Dada, which presents a portrait of the Ugandan dictator and The Terror's Advocate, a film about Jacques Verges, Le Vénérable W. deals with the question of a possible genocide, the first of the 21st century, through the character of Wirathu, a highly influential Buddhist monk. All these projects share the same starting point: "it's about meeting people, and encouraging them to talk without judging them, people through whom evil becomes embodied in differents faces and then bit by bit letting horror and truth take hold", explains Barbet Schroeder. The filmmaker has also used the points of view of two Buddhist monks from the same generation as Wirathu, imprisoned several times, opposed to his ideology and whose testimonies reveal the monk's concealed and calculated excesses.

Once there, I came to understand that we have much to learn from these Buddhist extremists. The “axes of evil” and populist ideas know no borders…

And so this producer, with his special interest in ambiguous and controversial people, concludes his trilogy of evil with this third part, a project that "has obsessed him for many years" he explains.

Written by Eugénie Malinjod

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