Far from a maxim-expounding sermon, the film is a fresh spring of irrational visual pleasure.

Michael Atkinson, Village Voice

Screened as part of NZIFF 2004

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

Bom, Yeoreum, Gaeul, Gyeowool, Guerigo, Bom

Directed by Kim Ki-duk

Germany / Korea In Korean with English subtitles
101 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay, Editor

Photography

Baek Dong-hyun

Music

Bark Ji-woong

With

Oh Yeong-su
,
Kim Ki-duk
,
Kim Yeong-min
,
Seo Jae-kyung

Festivals

Locarno, Toronto, San Sebastian 2003; Sundance, Rotterdam 2004

Elsewhere

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring is an exquisitely simple movie. Written and directed by Kim Ki-duk, it was filmed at a single location – a remote and picturesque mountain lake in a South Korean wilderness preserve – and it concentrates on the relationship between a Buddhist monk and his young protégé, characters whose names are never spoken… The subject of Spring is spiritual discipline, which the older monk distills into a set of lessons that are, like the film, self-evident and enigmatic. They also reflect aspects of Buddhism not always sufficiently appreciated in the West, often witty and occasionally harsh… The master and his protégé live in extreme isolation; their small wooden house, on a raft in the middle of the lake, is the only habitation for miles around. But emissaries from the outside world occasionally reach them… The story, effortlessly joining the cycle of the seasons to the larger rhythms of the life cycle, has a beguiling perfection. Along the way there are numerous surprises, and you are never sure, as one chapter gives way to the next, how many changes will have taken place. But by the end – when you are back at spring, with a young acolyte and a gray-haired master – the film takes on the heft and gravity of one of the smooth stone Buddhas that decorate the old monk’s house. It seems less a modern work of art than a solid, ancient object that has always been there, waiting to be found.” – A.O. Scott, NY Times