Two young monks, Narcissus and Goldmund, are as different from one another as fire and ice. While one has devoted his life to asceticism, the other, sent to a monastery at a very young age by his father, longs to experience the delights of the profane life. After years of separation, the two friends, now ex-monks, meet again. The meeting takes place under fateful circumstances, presenting a final opportunity to re-examine their past. This adaptation of Hermann Hesse's neo-romantic novel explores the balance between emotion and reason, and the spirit and the body.
The Vienna-born Ruzowitzky won recognition for his debut film, Tempo (1996), winner of the Max Ophüls Prize. The most successful film of his almost 30-year career was his 2007 The Counterfeiters, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Rudowitzky is also a great fan of opera, and has directed several for the Vienna State Opera.
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