Aje aje bara aje (1989)
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The beard koan was meant to carry a lot of weight; I missed it. What was that about?
I disliked (but it was a sign of the times) how the woman was consistently defined vis-à-vis a man – her father, her high school teacher, her husband(s). But, to be fair, the story was developed just as much by her relationship to the abbotess and her sister nuns.
Compassion, as announced in the beginning, is the overriding virtue. And it is, but I don't see that a reason to disparage spiritual quests. It's an old Catholic argument, too – the active vs. the contemplative life, except that it's a straw man of an argument. The real struggle is the lies we tell ourselves as a society to allow greed to flourish. I figure both monasteries and hospitals are needed to crack that lie.
I give it 7 stars, though, for the utter beauty which the camera captured and the perfect time capsule of a period of Korean life.