Act Normal

Act Normal

This is a film shot over around a decade following the adventures of Robert Edison, a young Britisher who ordained as a monk in the Thai tradition in 1982.

Unusually for a British monk, Ven. Dhammanando ordained at the early age of 18, and by the age of 20 he had moved to Thailand and taken his higher ordination there.

Living for the first year in Bangkok he later moved to Udon Thani, and eventually to the more temperate Lamphun in the north of the country.

In the early 90s he was offered a trip to Iceland, where he apparently became the first Buddhist monk to visit the country. As there were Thai supporters living in the country, he was asked to move there and start a temple or monastery.

He was there for a number of years before, following up a boyhood dream, he went to Kazakhstan. There he met a young lady whom he married and who followed him back to Iceland.

The marriage only lasted for around five months, but Robert continued as a lay person for a few years, working as a security guard, before deciding to return to Thailand and to his life as a monk.

The film is presented, not linearly, but like a mosaic, fitting the different parts of his life together to show how they reflect on each other, and add up to his decision to reordain.

There is some gratuitous nudity at the beginning of the film, which might put some off, but the film mainly concentrates on Ven. Dhammanando and his chosen life up to 2006. He still continues as a monk and lives for the most part in a remote monastery in northern Thailand.

 

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