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Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (2003)
"Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama  |  28 May 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 56,809 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 147 user | 119 critic | 29 from

On an isolated lake, an old monk lives on a small floating temple. The wise master has also a young boy with him who learns to become a monk. And we watch as seasons and years pass by.



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Complete credited cast:
Yeong-su Oh ...
Old Monk (as Young-soo Oh)
Adult Monk
Young-min Kim ...
Young Adult Monk
Jae-kyeong Seo ...
Boy Monk
Yeo-jin Ha ...
The Girl
Jong-ho Kim ...
Child Monk
Jung-young Kim ...
The Girl's Mother
Dae-han Ji ...
Detective Ji
Min Choi ...
Detective Choi
Ji-a Park ...
The Baby's Mother
Min-Young Song ...
The Baby


In the midst of the Korean wilderness, a Buddhist master patiently raises a young boy to grow up in wisdom and compassion, through experience and endless exercises. Once the pupil discovers his sexual lust, he seems lost to contemplative life and follows his first love, but soon fails to adapt to the modern world, gets in jail for a crime of passion and returns to the master in search of spiritual redemption and reconciliation with karma, at a high price of physical catharsis... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

28 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$42,561 (USA) (2 April 2004)


$2,380,788 (USA) (8 October 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The inscription on the floor is "The Heart Sutra", one of the most important Sutra of Mahayana Buddhism, written in literary Chinese. See more »


After the cops take the young adult monk away and the old monk is standing on the monastery watching, a fine monofilament can be seen pulling the boat, which is ostensibly floating on the current, back to the monastery. See more »


Old Monk: Didn't you know beforehand how the world of men is? Sometimes we have to let go of the things we like. What you like, others will also like."
See more »


Referenced in The Holiday (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

When she finds peace in her soul, her body will return to health.
13 September 2004 | by (Bookseller of the Blue Ridge) – See all my reviews

The circle of life is everlasting. We, as busy humans, sometimes miss the opportunity to see it in full effect. The modern day conveniences of life and the hustle and bustle of work sometimes fog our eyes to the constantly moving world. Thankfully we have films like Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter … and Spring, to help guide us back to our roots. Through each season, director Ki-duk Kim shows us the journey of one young boy as he learns life through the hands and mind of an older monk. Through events that are beyond his control, this young boy learns about love, lust, jealousy, hatred, and eventually rage. He makes choices that ultimately effect his life causing turmoil and distress, yet somehow continually finds his way back to the floating house on the lake where his journey began. It is during his final visit home he learns of his final journey in life. As a new soul is handed to him, he embarks on a final journey using his master's lesson, to pay homage to the life he has lead.

When I watched this film the first story that came to mind was that told by Trina Paulus in 'Hope for the Flowers'. It is the story of two caterpillars that embark on a journey into butterflies. Along the way they experience a full range of emotions that are attached to life and death. In the end, they become two of the most beautiful creatures in the world. This is how I viewed this entire film. I felt as if I was watching a young caterpillar (the young boy) experience life and journey along the path to become the beautiful butterfly. The beauty of the scenes and the simplicity of this story not drenched in words only kept this image vibrant. The spiritual themes of this film are present, but not bold. They are not hitting you in the face and forcing you to understand, but instead showing you and demonstrating the power of those willing to believe. This is a quiet film that leaves much up to our imagination. We never leave the valley that surrounds the lake, we never know what year is currently going on outside of the forest, and we are meant to understand that this story could take place anytime. Kim gives us themes that can be used to express any period of time and is especially poignant in today's terror filled world.

I loved everything about this film. From the simplicity of the opening doors to introduce each scene to the stunning and hypnotic ending that makes you believe in the human spirit. If you walk away with anything from this film, I hope it is hope. Hope for everything on this planet, and especially a hope for our fellow man. Mistakes are made to learn by. Take these errors and accept them to move closer to the world you have always dreamed about. Be that young boy that is able to transform into the man he desires.

See this movie, and feel a warmth like no other. This is quite possibly one of the best films of the year. Amazing!

Grade: **** out of ****

124 of 141 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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