Buddhist Monk Peeps at Naughty Neighbor in Drama on DVD
Chris (Ivo Velon), a Buddhist monk with a shaved head, sandals and a flowing orange tunic, ekes out a meager living as a street artist in Greenwich Village. His modest lifestyle strikes a sharp contrast to the hedonism and materialism which envelopes him daily as he makes his way around Manhattan.
While his simple path may be marked by meditation, abstinence, detachment and self-denial, the world around him is permeated by conspicuous consumption and self-indulgence. Nonetheless, Chris has carefully carved out his own oasis of solitude in his East Village walk-up where he quietly puts his philosophy of non-attachment into practice.
In the apartment next-door, however, lives Lotusia (Diana Gitelman), an 18 year-old, Catholic school girl whom he presumes to be a paragon of virtue. He even imagines her as something a kindred spirit, admiring her from afar, and placing this supposed symbol of purity up on a pedestal.
This all changes the day he discover a peephole drilled in his wall which provides a peek into Lotusia’s bedroom and her secret life as a prostitute. To his dismay, he discovers that she sells her body to indulge the fantasies of a procession of creepy clients, each with a different kinky fetish in mind.
Chris starts monitoring her liaisons, and finds himself gradually turning into a voyeur. Soon, he ends up in a moral quandary about how to respond. Should he follow his primal impulse rescue Lotusia from this self-destructive path? Or should he abide by the dictates of Buddhism and do nothing? This increasingly-urgent dilemma is the driving force of One-Third, an engaging psychological thriller resting on the unique tension wound by a passive philosophy aspiring to non-attachment.
A valuable examination of the intersection of Eastern and Western cultures from a distinctly Asian mindset.
Very good (3 stars)
Running time: 89 minutes
Studio: Kino Video
DVD Extras: Trailers and still photos.