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Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream That One Calls Human Life (1995)

Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream People Call Human Life (original title)
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A young man goes to a school for servants run by a brother and sister. In the dreamlike and surreal world that he enters, how will his presence impact the people there and possibly even the school itself?
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4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Mark Rylance ... Jakob
Alice Krige ... Lisa Benjamenta
Gottfried John ... Herr Benjamenta
Daniel Smith Daniel Smith ... Kraus
Joseph Alessi Joseph Alessi ... Pepino
Jonathan Stone Jonathan Stone ... Hebling
César Sarachu ... Inigo (as Cesar Sarachu)
Peter Lovstrom ... Jorgenson
Uri Roodner Uri Roodner ... Schilinski
Peter Whitfield Peter Whitfield ... Null
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Storyline

Jakob arrives at the Institute Benjamenta (run by brother and sister Johannes and Lisa Benjamenta) to learn to become a servant. With seven other men, he studies under Lisa: absurd lessons of movement, drawing circles, and servility. He asks for a better room. No other students arrive and none leave for employment. Johannes is unhappy, imperious, and detached from the school's operation. Lisa is beautiful, at first tightly controlled, then on the verge of breakdown. There's a whiff of incest. Jakob is drawn to Lisa, and perhaps she to him. As winter sets in, she becomes catatonic. Things get worse; Johannes notes that all this has happened since Jakob came. Is there any cause and effect? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Animation | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

UK | Japan | Germany

Language:

Afrikaans | Spanish | English | German

Release Date:

23 August 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream That One Calls Human Life See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Spoken at beginning of movie: Who dares it, has no courage. To whom it is missing, feels well. Who owns it, is bitterly poor. Who is successful, is damaged. Who gives it, is hard as hard as stone. Who loves it, stays alone. See more »

Quotes

Lisa Benjamenta: I am dying from the emptiness of cautious and clever people.
See more »

Connections

Version of Jakob von Gunten (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

Beautiful way to pass the time
12 August 2001 | by ellkewSee all my reviews

A truly wonderful film that slowly unfolds images of great beauty before you. I particularly like the through the keyhole moment and the dust being brushed aside by the clock pendulum. But mentioning specific scenes is to distract from the whole work which is I am sure is as close to a dream as one would get without sleeping. I adore Alice Krige in it and the way scenes have been constructed with the actors placed within the whole composition of the frame. I would not recommend this film, rather I think it is much better to discover it yourself and cherish it.


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