6.9/10
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The Cup (1999)

Phörpa (original title)
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2:01 | Trailer
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 »

Director:

Khyentse Norbu

Writer:

Khyentse Norbu
6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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 <achrya@spray.se>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Buddhism is their philosophy. Soccer is their religion.

Genres:

Comedy | Sport

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Bhutan | Australia

Language:

Hindi | Tibetan

Release Date:

20 April 2000 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Cup See more »

Filming Locations:

Bir, Himachal Pradesh, India

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$35,179, 30 January 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,067,773, 23 April 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on a true story. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Mahakala
(freedom chants from the roof of the world)
Performed by The Gyuto Monks
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Soccer and Spirituality
29 May 2005 | by johnfosSee all my reviews

This film is an authentic look at the situation that many young Tibetan men and boys find themselves in following the Chinese occupation of Tibet. But the film doesn't dwell on Tibetan politics, it is a light-hearted and elegantly-simple film inspired by true events at a Tibetan monastery-in-exile in Bhutan, where young Buddhist monks develop an interest in the World Cup soccer final.

The Abbot of the monastery and the older Lamas just have no idea what soccer is, and there is a humorous scene where the old Lama is sleeping in the sun and the young monk Orgyen comes up to him:

Orgyen: "Do a prediction for us Lama"; Old Lama: "Can't you see I'm busy!"; Orgyen: "At least say prayers for France"; Old Lama: "Are they sick?!!?"

And when everyone has seen the World Cup final, the serious Buddhist message comes home, in a beautiful way...

"If a problem can be solved, why be unhappy? And if it cannot, what is the use of being unhappy?"

'The Cup' contrasts strongly with earlier big-budget, stylised, productions about Tibetan Buddhism such as 'Seven Years in Tibet' and 'Kundun'. It is in the same vein as 'Samsara', which is also a very good film.

PS Director Khyentse Norbu (who is said to be a re-incarnate Lama) also has a new movie out -- 'Travellers and Magicians' (2003).


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