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Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East?: A Zen Fable (1989)
"Dharmaga tongjoguro kan kkadalgun" (original title)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 904 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 9 critic

Three people live in a remote Buddhist monastery near Mount Chonan: Hyegok, the old master; Yong Nan, a young man who has left his extended family in the city to seek enlightenment - Hyegok... See full summary »

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Title: Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East?: A Zen Fable (1989)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yi Pan-Yong ...
Hye-gok
Sin Won-Sop ...
Ki-bong
Hae-Jin Huang ...
Hae-jin
Su-Myong Ko ...
Abbot
Byeong-hui Yun ...
Ki-bong's mother
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Myeong-deok Choi
Hui-yeong Kim ...
The Other Disciple
Eun-yeong Lee
Seon-hye Lee
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Storyline

Three people live in a remote Buddhist monastery near Mount Chonan: Hyegok, the old master; Yong Nan, a young man who has left his extended family in the city to seek enlightenment - Hyegok calls him Kibong!; and, an orphan lad Haejin, whom Hyegok has brought to the monastery to raise as a monk. The story is mostly Yong Nan's, told in flashbacks: how he came to the monastery, his brief return to the city, his vacillation between the turbulence of the world and his hope to overcome passions and escape the idea of self. We also see Hyegok as a teacher, a protector, and a father figure, and we watch Haejin make his way as a curious and nearly self-sufficient child. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama

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Release Date:

23 September 1989 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Why Did Bodhi-Dharma Leave for the East?  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film took seven years to complete, using a single camera, and was edited entirely by hand. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Hyegok: Haejin! Haejin! There is no beginning and no end. Nothing is immutable, everything changes. That thing which does not come into being does not die.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A meditative picture
30 August 2003 | by (Berne, Switzerland) – See all my reviews

I first saw this movie back in 1990, being played in Switzerland. to understand and appreciate this movie, you need to face the fact that western and eastern story-telling differ a lot. And since Bodhi-Dharma, who never appears in the picture, is the first patriarch of Ch'an Buddhism in China, meditation is not only a subject of the movie but also became an inspiration for the makers. The story is therefore told in an extremely slow manner, including several flashbacks. It's a perfect introduction to Zen, but also a relaxing and beautiful movie to enjoy alone.


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