Barbet Schroeder’s Film ‘The Venerable W’ Documents Islamophobic Buddhist Monk Leader and Rohingya Genocide

Myanmar’s radical Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu attends a media briefing in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014.
Myanmar’s radical Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu attends a media briefing in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena
Myanmar’s radical Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu attends a media briefing in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014.
Myanmar’s radical Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu attends a media briefing in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena

Barbet Schroeder’s Film ‘The Venerable W’ Documents Islamophobic Buddhist Monk Leader and Rohingya Genocide

In modern human history, nationalism, religion and cult-of-personality have converged with catastrophic results for scapegoated groups, outsiders, or so-called “infidels.” Renowned filmmaker Barbet Schroeder documents these tragedies in his self-titled “Trilogy of Evil” through the documentaries, General Idi Amin Dada (1974) and the Cannes award-winning Terror’s Advocate (2007). 

The final installment in Schroeder’s trilogy is The Venerable W, a chilling look at the Burmese Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu and his followers. Wirathu’s Islamophobic rhetoric continues to stoke flames of ethnic and religious hatred that contributes to an ongoing genocide against Burma’s Rohingya minority, and other Muslims. 

Milos Stehlik, WBEZ film contributor and director at Facets, talks with Schroeder about the The Venerable W and the Rohingya.