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

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By ehgus2008
Words 1992
Pages 8
“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 development of karma and samsara throughout a cycle of seasons. In
Buddhist teaching, karma refers to actions/deeds, and vipaka signifies maturation/result from that karma. Simply put, karma and vipaka represent the cause-and-effect relationship, and it is implied that one‟s consequences will depend upon whether the karma has been good or bad. In the film, karma takes place when the protagonist (the young disciple) torments and takes sentient life forms in spring. This is explicitly highlighted as the young protagonist cries out in sorrow when he sees two dead creatures from his irreversible mischief, foreshadowing his unfavorable consequences later in his life. The protagonist indulges in sexual/emotional relationship with a young lady visitor in summer, and eventually murders her for cheating on him in fall. Also, though not intentional, the protagonist ends up contributing to death of a masked woman who abandoned her baby in winter. By the bad karma done in spring, the protagonist goes through experience of lust and murders in his path of life described under seasonal changes. And the consequence of karma is evidently…...

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