The Cup (1999)
"Phörpa" (original title)

G  |   |  Comedy, Sport  |  20 April 2000 (Australia)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 2,579 users   Metascore: 70/100
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While the soccer World Cup is being played in France, two young Tibetan refugees arrive at a monastery/boarding school in exile in India. Its atmosphere of serene contemplation is somewhat ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Orgyen Tobgyal ...
Neten Chokling ...
Jamyang Lodro ...
Lama Chonjor ...
Lama Godhi ...
Old Lama
Thinley Nudi ...
Tibetan Layman
Kunsang ...
Cook Monk
Kunsang Nyima ...
Pema Tshundup ...
Dzigar Kongtrul ...
Vajra Master
Dhan Pat Singh ...
TV Shop Owner
Oga ...
Abbot's Attendant
Raj Baboon ...
Taxi Driver
Jamyang Nyima ...
The hypersomniaque
Pema Wamgchen ...
Storytelling Monk


While the soccer World Cup is being played in France, two young Tibetan refugees arrive at a monastery/boarding school in exile in India. Its atmosphere of serene contemplation is somewhat disrupted by soccer fever, the chief instigator being a young student, the soccer enthusiast Orgyen. Prevented by various circumstances from seeing the Cup finals on television in a nearby village, Orgyen sets out to organize the rental of a TV set for the monastery. The enterprise becomes a test of solidarity, resourcefulness and friendship for the students, while the Lama, head of the monastery, contemplates the challenges of teaching the word of Buddha in a rapidly changing world. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Buddhism is their philosophy. Soccer is their religion.


Comedy | Sport


G | See all certifications »






Release Date:

20 April 2000 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

The Cup  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$35,179 (USA) (28 January 2000)


$1,067,773 (USA) (21 April 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This is the first film produced in Bhutan to be released internationally. See more »


Abbot: Can we cover the earth in leather so it's soft wherever we go?
Cook Monk: No.
Abbot: So what can we do?
Lodo: Wear leather sandals?
Abbot: Yes, wearing leather sandals is equal to covering the earth with leather.
See more »


Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »


Mongolian Overtone (Hoomii)
Singers: Taravjab Gareltsog and Chamba
Live recording at Wembley Stadium, August 5 1993
See more »

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User Reviews

This film "covered my feet in leather"
30 January 2002 | by (MD, USA) – See all my reviews

This is a delightful little film, and freshman effort from the little country of Bhutan. Had it not been based on true events, I would have found it hard to believe. Not claiming to know much about the life of a Bhuddist Monk, I didn't think they allowed themselves to be interested in more than chanting and karmic evolvement. This film acts as a great "equalizer", confirming my beliefs that we all are the same. We just tend to say it differently. The young monk who is the protaganist of this film reminds me so much of many young men I know. With his pushy, overbearing and sometimes irreverent behavior, you see a side of monkhood that is so often hidden in films. They are not perfect and they are prone to the same foibles we all have. Mainly, DESIRE. And desire no matter how innocent, or deviant, will get you everytime. The landscape appeared to be beautiful, the misty Himalayas, the rolling fields and saffron robes blowing in the wind beneath matching parasols. Unfortunately the cinematographer did not capitalize on all of this natural beauty, but merely glanced at the splendor as if it were merely coincidental. So all we get are mere glimpses at what should have been scenes lovingly caressed by the lens. This was a situation where the landscape and the camera should have clearly become lovers. But beyond that, I was swept away at the innocence of the director and it was a refreshing change to my jaded eyes. In my opinion, the more contrived Hollywood machine would not have been able to do more justice to this simple forthright piece of storytelling. And I am personally pushing for them to see the next World Cup games in person. Wanna take up a collection?

14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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