The Cup

Sweet, if slight, little film about a Tibetan monastery in exile in India, focusing on a mischievous, headstrong young monk named Orgyen, whose obsession with soccer spreads to several of his fellow monks as he attempts to catch the World Cup live on TV.

That's it, that's the story. Aside from that, there is lovely cinematography, a cook's tour of Tibetan Buddhism, and an earnest if subdued plea for understanding and action on the current religious oppression happening in Tibet under Chinese rule.

The director is himself a Tibetan monk, as is apparently the entire cast of monks, all of whom are very photogenic and surprisingly at ease before the camera. It's hard not to like The Cup, and its heart and mind are certainly in the right places, but it is so mild-mannered as to render itself unremarkable. The kind of "safe" movie you'd take your grandmother to - unless of course your grandmother is a hard-line Chinese communist.