Single Cinema Ticket: $13
Prices exclude SISTIC booking fees
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?