• Sogyal Rinpoche giving a lecture in auditorium - Guru in Disgrace - THIS Buddhist Film Festival
  • Sogyal Rinpoche giving Dharma talk - Guru in Disgrace - THIS Buddhist Film Festival
  • Sogyal Rinpoche in group photo with tibetan monks - Guru in Disgrace - THIS Buddhist Film Festival

GURU IN DISGRACE

Sun 26 Sep | 3.15pm

Sat 2 Oct | 1.30pm

Watch In Cinema

Single Cinema Ticket: $13
Prices exclude SISTIC booking fees

SINGAPORE PREMIERE

The Netherlands | 2020 | 88 min | NC16: Some Mature Content

English with no subtitles

Directed by Jaap Verhoeven

In 2017, evidence of ongoing sexual abuse and violence by Sogyal Rinpoche, a well-known Tibetan Buddhist master, sent shockwaves through the Buddhist world. His Rigpa community became divided into supporters and opponents. Sogyal stepped down as their teacher and fled to Thailand.

In this unique documentary we hear the poignant testimonies of victims who brought the story to light. They share their insights on how traditional Buddhist teachings on guru devotion were used to legitimise the sexual abuse and violence by Sogyal, and how a culture of secrecy was maintained by an ‘inner circle’ of long-time students.

Independent investigations confirmed the allegations, but the Rigpa organisation has never admitted to the abuse. When Sogyal passed away in 2019, Rigpa declared that he had reached enlightenment, and many Tibetan masters supported that view. Some openly demonised the victims who spoke out. However, in this documentary we also hear the Dalai Lama and Lama Tenzin Palmo giving their perspective on what is, sadly, just one of many cases of abuse in the Buddhist world.

How do current Rigpa students who admit to the extreme hypocrisy of Sogyal deal with this? Is there a future for the path of guru devotion, free from its cultural trappings of feudalism and patriarchy?

Sun 26 Sep | 3.15pm

Sat 2 Oct | 1.30pm

Watch In Cinema

Single Cinema Ticket: $13
Prices exclude SISTIC booking fees

Post-Screening Dialogue

Guru in Disgrace director Jaap Verhoeven - THIS Buddhist Film Festival

with director Jaap Verhoeven

BOOK PAIRING

The Guru Principle: A Guide to the Teacher-Student Relationship in Buddhism
Author: Shenpen Hookham
$28
Buy from Evergreen Buddhist Culture

DIRECTOR’S BIO

Guru in Disgrace director Jaap Verhoeven - THIS Buddhist Film Festival

Jaap Verhoeven has been interested in meditation since he was a boy. He studied and meditated with Buddhist masters from different traditions, and has always been in awe of the vastness and depth of the Buddha’s teachings. As a filmmaker, he follows his quest for the essence of those teachings, and what they tell us about ourselves.

PRINT SOURCE

Jaap Verhoeven
Director
jaap@aakaashfilms.com

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