• Film

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… and Spring


Time Out says

Acclaimed by credulous western critics (but not by Koreans), Kim's ninth feature rips off ideas from several Buddhist classics, notably Im Kwon-Taek's Mandala and Bae Yong-Kyun's Why Did Bodhi-Dharma Leave for the Orient? But it seems that Korea's best-known autodidact understands Buddhism even less than he understands women. Across four chapters and a brief coda, he purports to trace the cycle of life. An elderly monk (Oh) raises an orphaned boy in a temple which floats picturesquely on a raft in a tranquil lake. The boy wantonly kills three animals, incurring a 'karmic' burden. In the 'Summer' and 'Autumn' chapters the boy grows to adolescence, loses his virginity to a handy girl, leaves for the outside world and returns as a man wanted for killing his wife. In 'Winter' (the man now woodenly played by Kim himself), the cycle approaches completion with a ludicrous act of expiation and the arrival of a new orphan boy. There are flashes of authentic visual poetry, mostly involving Chinese calligraphy, but there's no coherent meaning and the attitude to women is as screwed-up as ever. A 'meditative' experience for the dumbed-down.

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Duration:101 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Kim Ki-Duk
  • Screenwriter:Kim Ki-Duk
  • Cast:
    • Oh Young-Su
    • Kim Ki-Duk
    • Kim Young-Min
    • Seo Jae-Kyung
    • Ha Yeo-Jin
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