Reviews & Ratings for
Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? More at IMDbPro »Dharmaga tongjoguro kan kkadalgun (original title)

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

An amazing movie

Author: Hal Rager from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
19 September 1998

I had the good fortune to see this movie as part of a campus movie series (UNLV) several years ago. The integration of the Ox-herding pictures from Ch'an/Zen lore into the fabric of the story was exquisite. Truly a beautiful film for Buddhist and non-Buddhist alike. I would love to own a copy of this film.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A movie (and moving) meditation that addresses the quest for the true self.

Author: John Van Sickel ( from Lawrence, KS, USA
15 February 2001

Many people have, at one time or another, asked the questions "Who am I, why am I here, what is the purpose of life?" This film addresses these issues as well as, and probably better then, any movie has since the film adaptation of Siddhartha or the more recent Little Buddha. Truly wonderful cinematography, acting, and a storyline that weaves traditional Zen stories/analogies into the works. The absorbing and meditative quality of the film itself makes it a classic work of Zen and film.

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It's pretty good

Author: OGLemon from Nowhere
1 June 2016

So, yeah. I've only seen this movie once, but it still remains in my head as one of my favorite films. The film has a real calming effect. I don't remember there being a whole lot of dialogue, but the translation provided by the subtitles was very enduring. The themes touched on in this film are something most people can reflect on, even if ones reflection is superficial and meaningless. The movie was obviously an inspiration for the more well known "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring". If you enjoyed that film, then you will probably also enjoy this film! Finally, the elusive nature of the director, Bae Yong-kyun, adds a bit of mystery to the film. I suppose this matches the tone of the film. Oh yeah, Bae Yong-kyun is like an art professor or something according to Wikipedia. I think his background in art really shows in this film. So, yeah. Check out the film!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Challenging, slow, but thought provoking.

Author: runamokprods from US
24 August 2011

While I still don't see it as the masterpiece that many do, I enjoyed it much more on 2nd viewing.

I do find much of it slow. Maybe because of my long interest in Buddhism, many of the ideas are familiar enough to me that in some cases it felt like an illustrated lesson on things I've read.

However, a other times, it makes some central Buddhist ideas really come to life in a very meaningful, moving way.

It earned a few votes on Sight and Sounds '10 Greatest Films Ever Made' list. A few noting that the film improves on repeat viewings, once the expectation of plot, etc has been removed.

It's really more a meditation than a 'film' in the usual sense.

The image (the photography is universally highly praised) looks less than great on my television (grayed-out blacks, etc.), but the DVD got good reviews, so I'm confused...

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0 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A long slow beautiful look at the lives of forest monks.

Author: meyer-8 ( from Buffalo, New York
30 June 2004

This movie is quite a bit like "Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring."

It must be a Korean genre.

The photography is absolutely magnificent, but the Takemitsu-like music will put off some people. It leaves you with an eerie feeling.

There is a story and not altogether a happy one. These forest monks are still homo sapiens, replete with all the urges and desires and wonderings that drive us mad. In both films, there is an old master who is quite sure of himself and of Buddhism, but that is offset by a younger monk who must leave for the world.

So see both these movies and draw your own comparisons.

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1 out of 9 people found the following review useful:


Author: Marc Collins from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
3 June 2000

As a fan of exotic and international cinema, I looked forward to seeing this film. Like another commentator, I lost interest and focus about half way through the film...but not because it was more enjoyable to contemplate the slide-show of imagery from afar--rather it was utterly incomprehensible. Symbolism, yes, but perhaps one has to be a Zen follower to ascribe deeper meaning to the simple presentation of a mish mash of images.

Perhaps interesting from a Zen perspective, everyone in the theatre (who managed to stay to the end of the film) left in a stony silence.

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