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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlavadok-revuecdfEmerging producersInspiration Forum
Monk of the Sea
Monk of the Sea
Monk of the Sea

Monk of the Sea

director: Rafal Skalski
original title: Mnich z morza
country: Poland, Germany
year: 2016
running time: 68 min.


Even today, seventy percent of the men in Thailand follow the old custom of spending at least a short part of their life as a Buddhist monk in a monastery. For Ball, the film’s protagonist, his two-week career as a monk is intended to serve as a symbolic steppingstone between his wild student life and more moderate adulthood. However, the reality of things is by far not so simple. Rafał Skalski’s staged documentary uses the example of Ball’s marginal experience to demonstrate the degree to which modern-day Thai society is based on the incompatibility between ascetic and hedonistic lifestyles, which the one-time transformation of the unrestrained young man into a monk cannot really conceal.

"To me, this is an instant kind of spirituality. We want to get a lot of things done in one go – quickly fall in love, make a career, be successful."


Polish director and screenwriter Rafał Skalski (1985) makes both documentary and fiction films as well as commercials. The films he has made to date, such as 52 Percent (2007) and Lovers (2009), have mainly been portraits of outsiders, characterized by an impassioned sensitivity to the intimate worlds of their protagonists. He also participated in the making of the series Wartime Portraits (2014), which combines documentary and animation techniques.

more about film

director: Rafal Skalski
producer: Pawel Kosun, Agnieszka Janowska, Jacek Naglowski
script: Rafal Skalski
photography: Filip Drożdż
editing: Filip Drzewiecki
sound: Franciszek Kozłowski
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas