On a fishing boat at sea, a 60-year old man has been raising a girl since she was a baby. It is agreed that they will get married on her 17th birthday, and she is 16 now. They live a quiet and secluded life, renting the boat to day fishermen and practicing strange divination rites. Their life changes when a teenage student comes aboard...
Jae-Young is an amateur prostitute who sleeps with men while her best friend Yeo-Jin "manages" her, fixing dates, taking care of the money and making sure the coast is clear. When Jae-Young... See full summary »
At South Korea's border with the North, troops guard the coast. Each bullies those ranking beneath him; tensions are high. PFC Kang and his friend Private Kim are on patrol when drinking ... See full summary »
Romances end in blood and the frail hopes of individuals are torn apart in a vile karmic continuity of colonialism, civil war and occupation. After surviving Japanese colonization, Korea ... See full summary »
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
When the old monk holds and strokes the cat, the cat's position changes between shots. See more »
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."
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The local Korean version of this film is approximately 90 seconds longer than the International release; a sequence was removed near the end of the film (at about the 100-minute point). This is reflected in the DVD releases, as the Tartan R2 (UK) release and the Columbia/Tristar R1 (USA) release use the International cut of the film, while the Bitwin R3 (Korean) DVD uses the original cut. See more »
After watching the movie a second time, I was determined to find out what the Old Monk had drawn on the deck of the hermitage. The only clue I had was the scene's subtitle: "Prajnaparamita Sutra it helps restore inner peace." Those were the words the Old Monk used to describe the sacred teachings that the Young Monk had to carve out as penance for his crime of passion. When I looked up the Prajnaparamita Sutra on the internet, I found out it was known as the Diamond Sutra of the Buddha.
The Buddha spoke the wise words in a monastery near Sravasti, saying that "this sutra should be called the Diamond that cuts through illusion because it has the capacity to cut through illusions and afflictions and bring us to the shore of liberation." There are 32 sutras or sections, and the 32 sections are also "marks" that are used to meditate on "the Tathagata" which means "the suchness of all things (dharmas)." The meaning of Tathagata is "does not come from anywhere and does not go anywhere." The insight into the truth of the sutras consists in a realization that "the idea of a self is not an idea, and the ideas of a person, a living being, and a life span are not ideas either." A self-realized or awakened "Buddha" is called a Buddha because he/she is free of ideas.
The "Buddha" in the Diamond Sutra is also called the World-Honored One, and his message can be summarized by two axioms: (1) "Someone who looks for me in form or seeks me in sound is on a mistaken path and cannot see the Tathagata." (2) "All composed things are like a dream, a phantom, a drop of dew, a flash of lightning. That is how to meditate on them, that is how to observe them."
Now I will have to watch the movie a third time and meditate on the 32 marks that the Old Monk draws with the cat's tail on the floor of the ashram. I will also feel the urge to count and see if there are really 32 marks.
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