You are here

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring

1 post / 0 new
Jacqueline Mercado
Topic replies: 83
Topic Posts: 13
Jacqueline Mercado's picture
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring

The movie Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring is a Korean film with many life lessons, Buddhist and universal themes to be explored. This is a film that can be used with students because of its thought provoking and illustrative themes. The movie is simple yet captivating with its beautiful and peaceful scenery and its many symbols and metaphors.  If one chosses to share this movie with students, much discussion needs to follow and it is best shared with older students because of its content.

The plot of the movie is arranged according to the seasons hence the title. It begins with spring and ends with spring.  It is the story of a Buddhist monk apprentice and his relationship with his teacher and their life in a secluded monastery that floats on a lake.  The scenery in this movie is beautiful and peaceful.  The monk teaches his apprentice many life lessons and their idyllic existence is interrupted when a young woman comes to the monastery for healing.  The apprentice develops a relationship with her and leaves the monastery with her upon her departure.  He later returns to the monastery but is now in emotional distress because his relationship with the woman ends and he resumes his training with his aging teacher. The teacher eventually dies of old age and he takes his place in the monastery.  A baby is later mysteriously brought to him and stays with him in the monastery as he apprentices him and so the cyclical nature of the story follows the cylces of the seasons in a beautifully crafted way. 

The movie feels like a Buddhist fable and while the plot is simple, the story is complex with its many symbols, themes and metaphors.  For this reason I think this film could be used in the classroom, but more appropriate with older students because of the elements of the story.  This film shows many life lessons and universal themes and could be an interesting introduction to Korean cinema because of its portrayal of young love and the special relationship between the apprentice and his teacher along with the many lessons he learns.