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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
This film is perhaps the most visually stunning piece that I have ever seen. While it runs incredibly slow, and there is perhaps 10 minutes of talking in the entire film, it is not likely intended to be excited. The plot follows three monks, an old wise monk, a young man who has sought him out for guidance, and a young child who the monk took in as an infant. The story, what little there is, shows the old man leading his two students on the path to Buddhist enlightenment before he dies. Again there is only about 10 minutes of speaking in the entire movie, which leaves a great deal to the imagination and interpretation of the audience. This film is highly visual, and stunningly so. For those interested in watching a film for it's artistic value, and for those who are patient enough to watch a film about Zen Buddhism, this is a great movie.
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