Golden Kingdom


Sequoia 1 Thu, Oct 15, 2015 2:30 PM
Film Info
Section:US Cinema
Running Time:103 min
Premiere Status:US
Director:Brian Perkins
Producer:Brian Perkins
Matthew O'Connor
Jessica Ballard
Screenwriter:Brian Perkins
Cinematographer:Bella Halben
Editor:Sebastian Bonde
Cast:Shine Htet Zaw
Ko Yin Saw Ri
Ko Yin Than Maung
Ko Yin Maung Sein
Print Source:WIDE
Note Writer:Carol Harada


In this first feature by Brian Perkins, beautifully shot in Myanmar with a cast that includes two actual monks in training, four young Buddhist monks and their abbot live peaceably in a remote mountain monastery. Sights and sounds arise from nature, the boys at play, and their humble devotional routines. Harmony reigns in their simple life. One day the abbot disappears, leaving the young boys to continue their lives of piety, but on their own. As the atmosphere becomes increasingly charged with sounds of gunfire, the young novitiates slowly come to understand the world outside is precarious and, like the monkey chief from a Burmese folk tale, strive to selflessly protect themselves. In this classic coming-of-age tale, the boys must follow the wisdom of their devotional practice. Like the Buddha himself, all of them must take a journey and encounter sickness, aging, and death. Spiritual life meets a troubled world with the keen eye of compassion.

Co-presented by Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) and Buddhist Film Foundation

Additional Information

American filmmaker Brian Perkins has traveled extensively through the remote parts of Asia and India. After creating a network of relationships in the monasteries and villages of Myanmar—picking up conversational Burmese along the way—he was in a unique position to bring Golden Kingdom to audiences. While a graduate student at UC Berkeley, Perkins received the Eisner Prize in Film and Video and was the recipient of numerous acknowledgments during his studies at New York University. Born in 1980 in Portland, Oregon, Brian currently lives in Berlin and Asia. Golden Kingdom is his debut feature film.