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

8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 47,733 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 136 user | 118 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

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

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Cast

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
Edit

Storyline

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

Plot Keywords:

lake | monk | lust | love | catharsis | See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

19 September 2003 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

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

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$2,380,788 (USA) (8 October 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Holiday (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
SYMBOLISM AND MEANING
28 April 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

At the risk of boring you all senseless here are some observations off the top of my head.

THE HUT Representing the self. All the possessions and shelter needed is on the floating hut. When the young man can no longer live at peace and comfort in the hut then bad things transpire. He never commits lustful acts in the hut. When we seek happiness outside ourselves, we are never truly content.

THE DOORS The doors by the lakeside and in the hut are symbolic rather than prescriptive. The fact there are no walls means their use is not forced but elected. They represent morality and discipline. Morality is not defined by a higher power but by society and the self. By adopting the constraints the doors engender, self-discipline is attained. As soon as the young man transgresses these self-imposed boundaries, to sneak across to the young woman, then disaster follows.

THE DEAD ANIMALS The Master allows the young boy to let the animals die. He does not become an all powerful father figure, cleaning up after him, but allows him to make mistakes and suffer the consequences. Buddhism does not have a higher power but rather promotes self-awareness.

THE MILLSTONE AND BUDDHA Represent the twin stones of regret for killing the fish and the snake. What you do unto others, you do unto yourself. He has carried that karma around with him all his life until he transcends them both, carrying them to the top of the hill, near heaven. Here he cuts himself free and attains redemption through struggle.

THE MASTER Is a great teacher, but does not lecture. Hardly a word is spoken, but lessons are learned. A good teacher points the way for a student to discover self-evident knowledge for themselves.

THE MOTHER The veil, representing guilt and shame are ultimately the cause of her downfall. Hiding from the outside world can bring about ruin.

THE YOUNG BOY Both at the beginning and the end, represents us. A good life is attained not by the absence of bad thoughts, but rather by their mastery, so they have no hold over us. We choose our behaviour rather than it choose us. The new boy is not born without sin, but rather must walk his own path to divinity. The same actor playing the young boy show the eternal cycle of the human soul.

THE SEASONS The endless cycle of birth, growth and death.


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