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28m Drama 2021

Language:Mandarin with English Subtitles


UK Premiere

When an excavator attempts to destroy a temple, a monk’s ancient faith is finally confronted by modern society: it is from then that he must begin his interrogation of the world.

Director’s Statement This film tells the story of a monk who can’t recite sutras because of a toothache. It takes a bad toothache as the starting point, and noise as a catalyst for the story to unfold. A monk who can’t recite sutras is coerced to change to keep up with modern times, but behind it is the collision between a modern city and religion. The film shows solemn feelings through black-and-white images in high contrast. Luckily, we also found a real monk and a temple for the shooting which added a sense of realism. In an authentic environment, we portrayed the monk who is suffering but at last he was transformed and reborn from a calm cinematographic language.

Curators’ Notes With a unique composition, Sarira dramatises the connection between a city and a temple in contemporary times. Through blending reality and imagination, the film offers a reflection on the contrast between religion and present-day norms, tradition and modernity via a sophisticated audio-visual language.

Festivals & Awards

The 26th Busan International Film Festival Sonje Award Special Mention

The 44th Clermont Film Festival International Competition Selection

The 27th Hong Kong IFVA Asian New Force Unit Selection

The 5th Pingyao International Film Festival Pingyao Corner Shortlisted Selection


Di Zhang


Mingyang Li


Xuechun Chen