‘Why Has’ is a Korean movie that I have seen many times, each viewing seems to reveal a new perspective. It features three characters, a young boy at a monastery, an old teacher at the same monastery and young man who lives in the city, then at the monastery. There is little dialog, but it is fully engaging. Not sure to describe the plot, if you can call it that, but the boy hits a bird with a stone while playing in a stream. The bird eventually dies, the boy is heartbroken. Wait! This is not a kids movie. There seems to be a message in here about karma, especially if you consider that the boy, the young man and the old teacher might be three phases of one man’s life! If you can rent the DVD from Netflix, do it.
Enlightenment Guaranteed is more of a comedy, about a middle aged man who is preparing to go to a Japanese Zen monastery from his home in Germany. His brother, meanwhile, is experiencing a personal crisis as his wife and family have left him. He calls his brother in anguish and decides he has to accompany him to this monastery, yet he knows nothing about zen and has never meditated. Though his brother tries to dissuade him, he ends up going. Arriving in Tokyo, en route to the monastery, they go through some hilarious adventures and culture shock. They eventually get to the place and experience the harsh monastic life, with a surprising outcome.
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