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 »
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...
In busy downtown Seoul, a thuggish young man notices a fresh-faced college student who sits on a bench. He stares then sits next to her. She looks at him as if he's vermin, rises and walks ... See full summary »
Mute Hee-Jin is working as a clerk in a fishing resort in the Korean wilderness; selling baits, food and occasionally her body to the fishing tourists. One day she falls in love to ... 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
At the risk of boring you all senseless here are some observations off the top of my head.
THE HUT Representing the self. All the possessions and shelter needed is on the floating hut. When the young man can no longer live at peace and comfort in the hut then bad things transpire. He never commits lustful acts in the hut. When we seek happiness outside ourselves, we are never truly content.
THE DOORS The doors by the lakeside and in the hut are symbolic rather than prescriptive. The fact there are no walls means their use is not forced but elected. They represent morality and discipline. Morality is not defined by a higher power but by society and the self. By adopting the constraints the doors engender, self-discipline is attained. As soon as the young man transgresses these self-imposed boundaries, to sneak across to the young woman, then disaster follows.
THE DEAD ANIMALS The Master allows the young boy to let the animals die. He does not become an all powerful father figure, cleaning up after him, but allows him to make mistakes and suffer the consequences. Buddhism does not have a higher power but rather promotes self-awareness.
THE MILLSTONE AND BUDDHA Represent the twin stones of regret for killing the fish and the snake. What you do unto others, you do unto yourself. He has carried that karma around with him all his life until he transcends them both, carrying them to the top of the hill, near heaven. Here he cuts himself free and attains redemption through struggle.
THE MASTER Is a great teacher, but does not lecture. Hardly a word is spoken, but lessons are learned. A good teacher points the way for a student to discover self-evident knowledge for themselves.
THE MOTHER The veil, representing guilt and shame are ultimately the cause of her downfall. Hiding from the outside world can bring about ruin.
THE YOUNG BOY Both at the beginning and the end, represents us. A good life is attained not by the absence of bad thoughts, but rather by their mastery, so they have no hold over us. We choose our behaviour rather than it choose us. The new boy is not born without sin, but rather must walk his own path to divinity. The same actor playing the young boy show the eternal cycle of the human soul.
THE SEASONS The endless cycle of birth, growth and death.
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