Zen For Nothing

Wednesday, May 1st, at 7:15pm

Provocatively titled, this contemplative film by filmmaker Werner Penzel is an immersion into life at a Japanese Zen monastery over the course of four seasons. Swiss novice Sabine Timoteo (a European film actress and dancer) arrives at Antaiji Monastery secluded in the rugged mountains on the west coast of Japan. She proceeds to learn the monastery rules and rituals – observing silence, zazen meditation, sharing the chores, and preparing the communal meals. There still remains personal time for reading, poetry, and conversation. Simple and beautifully filmed, and with composer Fred Frith performing the eclectic, elegant score. (105 mins)

Nicole Willock, Ph.D. is an asst. professor of Asian Religions at ODU with a specialty in Tibetan Buddhist studies.