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American Women's Club of Hamburg

88 Pilgern auf Japanisch

Starts November 13

I was intrigued by the title of this documentary, hoping for a story about an enlightened mind as a pilgrim wanders on a path leading to all 88 temples on a Japanese island. I looked forward to a few deep insights, maybe a blissful moment. But what we get is nothing of the sort. The film is something like a home movie by a German tourist. There is nothing delightful for the eyes either, not even a breathtaking landscape. The filmmaker frequently focuses his camera on the road and his feet (which at the end were blistered, blood red and disgusting). I did understand from the film that a pilgrimage is a journey for the sake of nothing and a search for nothing. That actually is very Zen and could be interpreted to mean that if you go on a pilgrimage looking for anything besides a tedious trip you may be disappointed. Just like this documentary.

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