English Title: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter . . . and Spring
Starring: Yeong-su Oh, Ki-duk Kim, Young-min Kim
Directed by: Ki-duk Kim
Cat Out of the Bag Alert! This review contains some spoilers for this film!
Synopsis: Beautifully filmed story about a monk who lives in a temple on a lake in the middle of the Korean wilderness. He raises a young boy as a fellow monk with love and compassion. The story follows the different phases of their lives, through trial and tribulation when the young monk goes astray and then returns seeking redemption.
Featured Feline: In the fall segment of the film the older monk is living alone except for a white cat (there are different animals living on the floating temple in each segment of the film). The cat is first seen in the elderly man’s bag as he rows back to the temple.
The cat is present in much of this segment and is shown many times throughout the temple.
The younger monk returns after having committed a heinous crime, seeking refuge and redemption from his former master.
The elder monk punishes his disciple and sets about painting the Heart Sutra on the outside deck of the temple in tempura ink, using the cat’s tail as his brush!
The white cat is very patient during these scenes, although he does protest a bit.
When two officers arrive to arrest the fugitive, the older monk asks if he may complete his punishment of carving out the letters which have been painted, explaining it is a means of releasing his anger. The officers agree.
The next morning when the young man’s job is done he is taken away by the officers. The cat is on the back of the boat as they row to shore.
The cat is left on shore and is last seen climbing on a tree.
Final Mewsings: Cats have many uses!
Many thanks to Cinema Cats Facebook follower Thomas G. for reminding us of this lovely film!