A Poet at Heart

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Is it a spiritual win or failure for a man who has lived a life as a lama for 26 years, to choose to live a secular life, to become a merchant or to have a relationship?

Sonam was born with a romantic personality, spiritually-led to dedicate to Tibetan Buddhism. He entered Serthar Buddhist Academy, the biggest Buddhist Academy in the world at the age of six, and vowed there to be a monk for life. In the Academy, Sonam has created many beautiful poems about life and death, spirituality and the Buddhist practice. The poems are also his venue to express desires and freedom he’s now allowed to have.

As China changes rapidly, his brief encounters with the profit-driven mainstream society have planted seeds of disturbance in his life. And he also struggles with a temptation for romance as his childhood sweetheart persists to express love to him.

Sonam quits his religious life and gets together with a girl who has waited for him for 17 years. Seemingly relieved to embrace the affection, Sonam has to face the pressure from the community towards his secularization and devastation he’s caused on the family. In order to sustain a new life with his now fiance, Sonam now becomes a businessman who runs a printing and translation shop with a staff of Tibetan lamas. As a Lama and poet, Sonam has made all the queries that have not found a solution; now a worldly man and merchant, the situation can only complicate.

Director KANG Shiwei
Location China
Duration 28 min.
Genre Human Interest / Society / Family
Air Date (JST) Mon., Nov. 12, 2018 *rerun
Mon., Aug. 27, 2018

On Demand


KANG Shiwei

KANG Shiwei


Kang Shiwei, born in Chengdu in 1982, Who was graduated from The China Academy of Art's Department of public art and received his master's degree in 2008.He is a doctor in journalism and communication studies at Communication University now. From 2005 to now, he is a professional documentary director, He is the winner of European Film Festival for the name of Best Documentary Award. He is the signed artist of Shanghai Zendai Art Museum from 2010 to now and the member of China Television Artists association. He is the art director of US-China foundation for education and culture. Now, he is the mentor of Sichuan University.


Experimental Films:
Gobi 2007
The artist and dresser 2013

[Short documentary]
Ma JiaTang 2009
Kalighat home for the dying 2011

[Feature length documentary]
A Poet at Heart 2015
Dance on the square 2017

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