Buddhist Elements in the Film - "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring"

1980 Words8 Pages
BUDDHIST ELEMENTS IN THE FILM “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring” Film “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring” unfolds a pastoral and spiritual journey in the serene and timeless Buddhist temple which is afloat on the lake surrounded by the deep mountains. Within the setting of such calm unworldliness, director Kim Ki-duk portrays the life of a Buddhist monk from childhood to old age in the flow of four seasons. Kim depicts two important Buddhist themes in his film; the development of karma and samsara in the cycle of seasons, and the path to nirvana through journey of penance, meditation, and self-discovery. Theme #1 – Development of Karma and Samsara throughout a Cycle of Seasons Firstly, the film portrays the…show more content…
The idea of karma is also drawn in a scene in spring where the old monk ties a huge stone on the back of the young protagonist and makes him carry it for tormenting the living creatures, saying “you will carry the stone in your heart for the rest of your life” (Transcript) if any of the creatures is dead. What the stone symbolizes is the beginning of karma that is burdened on the protagonist‟s back, and carrying it signifies a way of doing penance to ultimately cleanse it. Therefore, in order to cleanse his sins and pursue his path to nirvana, the self-salvation, the protagonist reintroduces this scene in winter as he ties himself to a huge stone and drags it to the peak of the mountain with a Buddha statue that “remains on earth as a means of helping other believers lead a better life so that they may attain Nirvana” (“Spring”). On the other hand, as the abandoned child repeats the killing of sentient life forms in the new spring, we also see the karma through samsara, the world of becoming. The reason why both the old monk and protagonist did not stop the action of the young disciples from taking away lives is because of the belief that one is responsible for his own karma. And to construct Buddhism timeline that portrays circulating karma and samsara – “the realm of rebirth and karmic retribution” (“Karma”), the director has adopted the continuous circulation

More about Buddhist Elements in the Film - "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring"

Open Document