Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (2003)
"Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama  |  28 May 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 58,197 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 149 user | 119 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

On an isolated lake, an old monk lives on a small floating temple. The wise master has also a young boy with him who learns to become a monk. And we watch as seasons and years pass by.



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Complete credited cast:
Yeong-su Oh ...
Old Monk (as Young-soo Oh)
Adult Monk
Young-min Kim ...
Young Adult Monk
Jae-kyeong Seo ...
Boy Monk
Yeo-jin Ha ...
The Girl
Jong-ho Kim ...
Child Monk
Jung-young Kim ...
The Girl's Mother
Dae-han Ji ...
Detective Ji
Min Choi ...
Detective Choi
Ji-a Park ...
The Baby's Mother
Min-Young Song ...
The Baby


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 KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

28 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$42,561 (USA) (2 April 2004)


$2,380,788 (USA) (8 October 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The inscription on the floor is "The Heart Sutra", one of the most important Sutra of Mahayana Buddhism, written in literary Chinese. See more »


When the young monk finishes inscribing the Heart Sutra on the floor and falls down exhausted, the inscriptions below him change between shots (even though he is lying motionless). In one shot, the inscriptions he is lying on have been painted; and as he wakes up, the paint is gone. See more »


Old Monk: Didn't you know beforehand how the world of men is? Sometimes we have to let go of the things we like. What you like, others will also like."
See more »


Referenced in The Holiday (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Visual Delight
18 September 2004 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

I'm constantly amazed by the appearance of some seemingly off-the-wall piece of art that when you view it evokes a stunning effect. The simplicity of this film, its low-key action and pace, its visual surrealistic beauty, all interact to create an emotional impression that is long-lasting and thought-provoking. Korea has been somewhat slower to enter the international cinematic world and here is a film with actors whose names stir little or no recognition. For myself, who has enjoyed the Korean films I've seen before, it was a delightful surprise. The film itself is a wonderful tapestry of Korean Buddhist culture, with quiet visual beauty, simple moral themes and human passions put into a simple, homespun perspective. The remarkable natural setting which reflects the wide spectrum of Korea's seasons, which range from hot, sticky humid-fraught summers to icy, cold snow-bound winters, become a metaphor of life with unadorned figures, completely human in form. The old monk becomes a witness to the interplay of human qualities, without judgment yet with a complete and quiet moral presence. The foibles of child cruelty is met with a simple retribution which imparts a lasting lesson. Judgment is always withheld and warnings are given simply. The effect of all of this rings long and lasting, much like the impression of a delicate Korean silk print: simple in design with plain brush strokes and stylized representations of nature-- yet, lasting in impression, often to the point of being unforgettable. I buy few videos and DVDs, preferring to see things I really enjoyed again and again. But, I've ordered this one.

44 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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