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with Jesus

A tiny Buddhist "monastery," big enough for an elder monk and his ten-year old disciple, floats moored in a remote, isolated lake, surrounded by spectacular forested mountains shrouded in mists and a whole lot of silence. The dialogue in this film is minimalist. We do not even learn the names of the monk and his disciple. But the themes that it engages, such as desire as the cause of suffering, possessiveness, anger, sin, redemption, loss of innocence, wisdom, and the like are universal experiences. The film passes through the four seasons of the year, an obvious metaphor for the developmental stages of the two characters. In each successive season the characters are about a decade older, so that in circular fashion the ten-year old apprentice at the beginning of the film is the new elder at the end, complete with his own young apprentice. In fact, this rather captivating, meditative and philosophic narrative takes several unexpected plot turns. The gorgeous scenery in this film would alone make it worth watching. In Korean with English subtitles.

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