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S. Waite Rawls III
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Two very different brothers get together for a temporary stay in a Japanese zen monastry. The trip from Germany to Japan brings up some unexpected quests they have to manage. Soon both really have to leave their ordinary lifes behind and are on a voyage to themselves. Written by
"Enlightenment Guaranteed" is a wonderful film. Funny, visually interesting and intelligent. However, education about Buddhism is required, I think, for real appreciation of the film's layers of story telling. The independent film feeling was really charming. Ochsenknecht and Wohler work well as a comic team. The monastery scenes were fascinating and fun. There is a whole self consciousness of the play as a play that I really liked. It seemed more like small, alternative theater than film at times. I don't think this could be a commercial hit, simply because it takes a certain level of education and understanding of philosophy to get many of the jokes. The small audience, with whom I saw the film, were split down the middle. Half of them seemed as delighted as I was. Half seemed bored and restless. The German speakers near me were laughing as often and as loudly as I was. My own education in Buddhist practices was a major source of my appreciation for the film, I think. Well worth seeing, if you can find it.
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