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Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East [Import]

18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Yi Pan-Yong, Sin Won-Sop, Hae-Jin Huang, Su-Myong Ko, Byeong-hui Yun
  • Directors: Yong-Kyun Bae
  • Writers: Yong-Kyun Bae
  • Format: AC-3, Director's Cut, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Original recording remastered, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: Korean
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Milestone Video
  • Release Date: Oct. 16 2007
  • Run Time: 137 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UGBOX6
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Product Description

An old master shows Zen to his two disciples at a shabby mountain monastery, then dies.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

By Swing King on Jan. 14 2004
Format: VHS Tape
You know I am disappointed the DVD reviews are being posted in the VHS section as well. Were they seperate, I think this movie would get just about 5 stars hands down, each time. Of course it is a movie for those interested in Zen Buddhism, that is somewhat a given. I am sorry to hear that the DVD conversion did not work out well, but I suppose I consider myself lucky enough to have purchased the VHS anyway. The imagery, for one, is so penetrating. I don't really know how to describe it. Impermamance is a recurring theme within this movie. The thing I appreciate about it, is it truly is like "viewing a meditation." The film is very relaxing, allowing the imagery to tell the story mostly. It is Korean subtitled, featuring a master, monk, and an orphaned boy. I wish I could tell you what this movie is about entirely, but I would not be able to do so in a completely accurate way. It's a movie that really does not collect dust on a shelf, because it is so provoking you will watch it over and over again. I know I do.
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By A Customer on July 29 2001
Format: DVD
An awful movie for two reasons: pretentious and empty as a film, and worse, as a supposed example (I can't even say "masterpiece" ) of "Zen", basically fraudulent. Slow tracking nature shots and third grade level spouting of Buddhist aphorisms (and literal use of the ox parable - ugh!) do not constitute "Zen." Real zen practice is not divorced from the nitty gritty reality of modern life ; thinking that this movie will somehow get you on the path to prajna paramita (the "other shore", i.e., enlightenment) is like saying that watching "Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer" or "The Grinch" will let you understand the meaning of Christianity's origin.
It's obvious now why Mr. Bae has never made another film: and it's unfortunate that so many people's wish to "see" Zen philosophy /spirituality has caused them to suspend their critical discernments and project depth into this amatuerish production. Decent, if unchallenging, cinematography though (hence the two stars).
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Format: DVD
As a young Korean immigrant, it's impossible to describe in words my feelings when I found this movie in USA. Even though so many wonderful films are made in Korea, they seldom get noticed world-wide. This is one of the "wonderful films" that are hard to find. I've watched this movie several times now, but frankly, there still are a lot of things that I don't understand. The reason I keep watching, though, whenever I have time, is because of pure aesthetics in words and images. In my opinion, you don't have to understand anything, nor should you be buddhist or have knowlege in buddhism to like this movie. Every words and images have beauty all by themselves and they make you feel something, and think something. Well, if not, at least they make you feel peaceful. If you are a person like me, who's tired of car honking, crowded train, and this jungle of concrete buildings, I strongly suggest you grab this movie, and have a moment of serenity. The English subtitle looks very good, although there are some words that are just not translatable. But that's just my opinion, since I'm more accustomed to Korean than English. My last words -- if you decide to buy this movie, enjoy the scenery. Korean mountains are SO BEAUTIFUL!
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By S. Jung on Dec 27 1999
Format: DVD
When I was in Korea about ten years ago, I heard about this movie, but I have not seen this move until DVD is released recently.
This movie is not for everyone, because it is hard to understand Zen and other underlying stories (also the cinematography). I am not a Buddhist, but I think I know better than usual Western viewers. Keep in mind that my review is of novice.
At first scene, you hear very loud warning sounds from traffic signals and sounds of a train passing by. The sounds from wooden bells carried by Buddhists have been used to open the closed minds of common people (fools) by the strong wave energy penetrating into their inner minds. You later hear sounds of the wooden bell by the monk in the market. Also, you can hear various sounds from metallic bells and others in the movie.
The Zen koan is also used to open the closed mind by sudden striking force. You can not easily escape from old habits, stereotypes and various beliefs which you have accumulated and learned after your birth. To cut those connections which are usually obstacles to the Way to enlightenment, you need some sudden and strong force. A sound or koan can be used for this purpose.
'Karma' is a basic principle to make the story in the movie. The boy killed a bird. He later suffered in water. The cow symbolizes a kind of lucky guider when you are struggling to escape from darkness. Due to any kind of guider, you can have a chance to move toward the enlightenment or Nirvana, which is given because you have accomplished somethings or have helped other lives during the past life.
The woman wearing black Korean cloth is the boy's mother. She appeared in the dream of the boy when he struggled to escape from a crisis.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD
There are not nearly enough Korean films available in the West, and this is the kind of movie which reminds me that we're missing out. A Buddhist monk and his apprentice live in a temple up in the mountains, and contemplate life and all of its meanings. This is the basic premise for a film which lasts for 2½ hours. And it took 10 years to make. But this is no criticism. Plenty of Zen Buddhist philosophy abounds despite sparse dialogue. While the film has a very challenging duration to endure, people who do stick with it will learn something of this popular religion (which I for one find interesting), and will also be treated to a lot of simply beautiful, captivating and breath-taking Korean natural scenery. If you can't watch a film without action, or a dialogue-driven drama, then don't torture yourself. This is not for you. Everyone else however will find a damn good film with depth-aplenty. Highly recommended.
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