152 user 122 critic

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (2003)

Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom (original title)
R | | Drama | 28 May 2004 (USA)
2:06 | Trailer

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A young and truth seeking boy travels to an isolated lake, where an old Buddhist master lives on a small floating temple.



13 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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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 ...
Yeo-jin Ha ...
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?


Ki-duk Kim: the adult monk at the end of the movie. See more »


When the young monk finishes inscribing the Heart Sutra on the floor and falls down exhausted, the inscriptions below him change between shots (even though he is lying motionless). In one shot, the inscriptions he is lying on have been painted; and as he wakes up, the paint is gone. 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 »


Jeongseon Arirang
Performed by Kim Young Im
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

a Buddhist meditation on life and death, and what surrounds us
24 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I remember when I saw this film on screen last year, I was struck by the rhythm director Kim Ki-Duk used in the film. It's deliberate, too deliberate for most I'd suppose. But like a reading good piece of philosophy, the filmmaker allows the viewer to get as much as they may find in the work. The story is more of a fable than a really conventional narrative- a baby is delivered to the steps of a Buddhist house on a lake, where the boy is raised by a master. He grows up, and falls temptation to the desires of the world. He decides to leave, only to return and find himself again. In the end, as winter comes, things come full circle. Each of the 'seasons' of the film are handled delicately, with the kind of simplicity that may appeal even more to children (the segment of the first 'spring' with the child transcends religion and goes into the basic stance of nature). The scenes of finding lust in 'summer' is not terribly graphic, but it puts the point on what is right and wrong in the customs and traditions of the religion. Then in 'Autumn', there are harsher lessons to be learned, and this also contains the best acting from the old master and the young, angry pupil. And 'Winter' becomes the most meditative of them all, with next to no dialog. Indeed that may be the turn off to most viewers- to say that the film isn't supported by dialog is an under-statement. And its not necessarily documentary realism. What I sensed from the film, and what stuck with me for a few days afterward, was the spiritual attitude behind the style, the confidence that the rhythm had a connection with the subject matter. It's one of the most soulful films to come out of the Eastern world in some time. It's less a traditional drama than a unique experience, for better or worse, really more for the better.

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