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A Little Monk (2002)
"Dong seung" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 108 users  
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A nine-year old monk, Do-nyum, has lived most of his lonely life in a quiet mountain monastery under his elderly master. Though put under a strict regimen of Buddhist teachings, meditation ... See full summary »


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Title: A Little Monk (2002)

A Little Monk (2002) on IMDb 7.1/10

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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview:
Tae-jin Kim ...
Little Monk
Min-gyo Kim ...
Ye-ryeong Kim ...
Yeong-su Oh ...
Temple Master
Mu-song Jeon ...


A nine-year old monk, Do-nyum, has lived most of his lonely life in a quiet mountain monastery under his elderly master. Though put under a strict regimen of Buddhist teachings, meditation and chores, the child cannot help but to think of his mother, whom he cannot remember but misses dearly and hopes to be reunited with one day. He also wishes that he could be like the other children who live nearby and play games and attend school. Do-nyum's other companion is an older monk named Jung-sim, who is also struggling with staying on the path of enlightenment. The temple's groundskeeper keeps reassuring Do-Nyum that his mother will come back someday. But Do-nyum, sick of waiting for a mother who may never return, agrees to be adopted by the monastery's benefactor, a wealthy widow who visits the temple every year to mourn her late son. Written by peter07

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Release Date:

11 April 2003 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Little Monk  »

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About becoming a monk
22 April 2005 | by (Tellus) – See all my reviews

A young monk that doesn't know his parents live in a temple with an older monk and his apprentice. He is bullied by a boy at school which he don't attend to, but are interested in because of curiosity and the other children of course. Because he is a monk, hes seen as different by this leader of the school pack, this movie is about him and how being different affects him. Buddhism is about resisting temptation. By juxtaposing temple life with the modern Korean life, this movie shows all the temptations that conflicts in his mind with the teachings of the older monk. Temptations spells things like knowing his mother, having a family, hunting, eating meat, being one with the rest and interests in girls.

Compared to 'Bom, yeorum ...' in which Oh Yeong-so also plays a similar role, this is less spiritual and metaphysical, also the direction of this movie is at times a bit unclear. It was striking also however that the figure of Oh Yeong-so was much more tightly interwoven (amongst other things, most obvious being the seasons) in Kim Ki-duks movie than this. Maybe Oh isn't such a big actor, but in Kims movie you couldn't tell, in 'Dong seung' you can. Still this is a good movie, it is always interesting to get a glimpse of the rich Korean culture and its philosophy. The settings is very beautiful, I really wish I could spend some time in them, and cinematography is OK, nothing spectacular. Overall good work with a little something lacking.

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