Thursday, February 25, 2021
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Starring: Orgyen Tobgyal, Neten Chokling, Jamyang Lodro
Director: Khyentse Norbu
Rated: G

Two years ago Martin Scorsese’s eloquent film Kundun told the story of the Dalai Lama and his oppressed people in Tibet.

Now, in a lighter vein, The Cup is a film which, we are assured, is “95 per cent based on a true story”. Two young Tibetan boys, Palden and Nyima (Orgyen Tobgyal) escape from Tibet and arrive at a Tibetan monastery-in-exile in the foothills of the Himalayas. The cast of The Cup was mainly drawn from members of the monastery and none had any acting experience whatsoever.

The boys settle into monastic life, embracing ordination into the Buddhist tradition.

It is 1998 and the World Cup soccer final between France and Brazil is about to be played. The monastery does not have a TV set, but the sports world has infiltrated, and Palden and two of his new-found friends, Orgyen (Jamyang Lodro) and Lodo (Neten Chokling) have gone on a midnight “flit” to watch a semi-final World Cup match at a local shop.

There is a whip round among the monks. It is somewhat of a surprise to find that they have any money, and the move is on to hire a TV set.

Well, do they get to see the final? You will have to join them in this joyous film that tells us a lot about human nature.

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