Buddhist and Christian thought in Kim Ki-duk's film Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring
The 2003 film Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring by Korean director Kim Ki-duk can be considered a religious film, not in the explicit sense of a confessional or missionary agenda but in terms of its contents, theme, symbols and narrative. Kim’s starting point, as he himself puts it, was his unidentified personal identity. When we talk about the religious component of a personal identity, then Kim’s identity is characterized by ambivalence towards Christian and Buddhist tradition he was brought up in. Kim expressed this ambivalent confessional and personal identity in his film by articulating transcendental questions and by offering some answers relying on the symbolism of the Buddhist and Christian heritage. However, his film can not simply be qualified as Buddhist or Christian because Kim does not present a world which would be Christian or Buddhist, but rather creates in the film, organically, his own religious world which comprises both religious traditions and at the same time goes beyond them. Kim uses the film as a medium for recomposing and reproducing the reality in the form of moving images and visualizing the scenes not seen in reality, only to chart the area for ritual experiences which enable the viewers to envisage an ideal in relation to which they would evaluate and transcendent their wishes and actions.
Kim Sang Hun