Keepers of the Faith: The Buddhist Nuns of Sagaing Hills


1996 / 51 minutes

Directed by
Hiroko Kawanami
Country of production
United Kingdom

In the Sagaing Hills, 12 miles from the ancient capital of Mandalay are hundreds of pagodas, stupas, monasteries and nunneries which form a focal point of worship for Buddhism in Burma. In 1986 the filmmaker lived for 15 months as a nun in the Thameikdaw Gaung nunnery. Some years later she is coming back for a visit in order to see what has changed. This is an intimate insight into the daily life of a nunnery as well a portrait of the monastic economy and its interactions with the society. This film was remastered in 2022.

Language and subtitles
Original Version with English Subtitles
South-East Asia
Religion / Belief / Faith Collective / Community identity Gender Role and Identity