5 user 14 critic

Monk with a Camera (2014)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography, News | 24 March 2014 (USA)
Nicholas Vreeland walked away from a worldly life of privilege to become a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Grandson of legendary Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland, and trained by Irving Penn to become a ... See full summary »


Tina Mascara (co-director), Guido Santi (co-director)
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
The Dalai Lama ... Self
Khyongla Rinpoche Khyongla Rinpoche ... Self
Nicky Vreeland Nicky Vreeland ... Self
Alexander Vreeland Alexander Vreeland ... Self
John Avedon John Avedon ... Self
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tonne Goodman Tonne Goodman ... Self
Wendy Goodman Wendy Goodman ... Self
Priscilla Rattazzi Priscilla Rattazzi ... Self
Ptolemy Tompkins Ptolemy Tompkins ... Self
Frecky Vreeland Frecky Vreeland ... Self
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Nicholas Vreeland walked away from a worldly life of privilege to become a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Grandson of legendary Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland, and trained by Irving Penn to become a photographer, Nicholas' life changed drastically upon meeting a Tibetan master, one of the teachers of the Dalai Lama. Soon thereafter, he gave up his glamorous life to live in a monastery in India, where he studied Buddhism for fourteen years. In an ironic twist of fate, Nicholas went back to photography to help his fellow monks rebuild their monastery. Recently, the Dalai Lama appointed Nicholas as Abbot of the monastery, making him the first Westerner in Tibetan Buddhist history, to attain such a highly regarded position. Written by Anonymous

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User Reviews

You might give it all up if you see this doc.
1 February 2015 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"You haven't partied until you've partied at dawn in complete silence with Buddhist monks." Cameron Diaz

Married filmmakers Tina Mascara and Guido Santi have crafted a warm documentary, Monk with a Camera, about Nicholas Vreeland, grandson of legendary Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland. He's remarkable for forsaking his posh world to become a Tibetan monk and abbot of the Rato monastery, the first Westerner to do so. In addition, he returns to the photography that he learned from Irving Penn to help save the monastery.

The doc is restrained in its praise of this self-effacing spiritual leader, while letting others like Richard Gere and Nicky's brother, Alexander, do the praising. The camera seems to strive for the most natural and least hyped aspects of Nicky's remarkable vocation.

As we follow him talking to monks and millionaires alike, the doc effectively makes believers of us who might be skeptical that such a transformation could be possible. See the monk in his adoptive habitat, just as if we too for the few moments of the doc decided to forsake our worldly stuff for a simpler life.

It's not the kind of sacrifice I'm willing to make and therefore that more remarkable a documentary to make me think of doing it.

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24 March 2014 (USA) See more »

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