In the current heydays of research with psychedelics, the film observes the worldwide first clinical study
outside the hospital but within the group-setting of a well structured meditation retreat during five days
in a ZEN monastery at the Rigi mountain in Switzerland. 39 expert meditators without any drug experience receive either 25mg of the psychedelic compound of certain mushrooms, called PSILOCYBIN, or 25mg of a placebo in a double-blind manner. Their collective trip becomes the movies journey into the mystery of CONSCIOUSNESS, asking what it means to be conscious anyway ?
A japanese proverb says that one can’t straighten a snake by putting it in a bamboo cane - during conversations with the neuroscientist Franz Xaver Vollenweider, the psychiatrist Peter Gasser and the Sōtō zen priest Vanja Palmers, the film explores the potential of psychedelic substances as a health treatment and questions how to integrate the joy of a mystical experience into a daily practice of mindful behaviour.
SNAKE IN A BAMBOOCANE is a trip-meditation on how one could capture the infinite human mind.