Besides the main buddhistic philosophy (Theravada)
and the monasterial life, this film also shows Thailand's social structures very impressively. In addition, one accompanies the forestmonks to a smaller monastery in a national park on the Mekong river, the border river to Laos.
One of the highlights of the film, is the the monks' jungle retreat in the far west of the country, very near to the border with Burma (Myanmar). This malaria infested national park, is home to the famous river Kwai, which flows through it. Here the audience becomes a witness, to how the head of the monastery, a canadian and environment activist, is engaged in the fight to stop the last jungles of Thailand being cut down and cleared by fire.
The main monastery of the forest monks, the Wat Pah Nanachat, was founded in 1975 by the well known buddhist master of meditation, Ajahn Chah, for the increasing number of his western disciples. Under his guidance, more than 100 monasteries have been established, some of them in western countries such as England, Australia, Newsealand, Switzerland, Italy and the USA. In England, there are already 4 monasteries in this tradition!
The first head of the forest monastery, Wat Pah Nanachat in Thailand, was an american, Ajahn Sumedho. He is now the spiritual head of the international Forest Sangha and the corresponding buddhist center in England, the Amaravati.