Why has Bodhi-Dharma left for the east?

Why has Bodhi-Dharma left for the east?

DVD - 2007 | Korean
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In a remote mountain monastery above a bustling city lives Hyegok, an old Zen master, his conflicted young apprentice Kibong, and Haejin, an orphaned boy studying to be a monk. The old master, nearing his end, wishes to make the ceremony of his death his final lesson to his apprentice, who is struggling to come to terms with the worldly life he left behind. Meanwhile the young boy has his own awakening to mortality as he attempts to nurse a bird he thoughtlessly injured with a stone.
Publisher: New York : Milestone Film & Video : distributed by New Yorker Video, [2007]
Edition: Director's ed.
Branch Call Number: DVD Why
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (145 min.) :,sd., col. ;,4 3/4 in.


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Nov 24, 2014

Directed by a reclusive arts professor in Korea, who made this film with his own money, "Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East?" is a philosophical film that seeks to understand the meaning of life through two Zen koans. 'Koan' is an the enigmatic phrase whose purpose is to tie our tongue so that we may reflect in silence and thus enter meditation. The koans that this film presents are: (1) What is my original face before my mother and father were conceived? & (2) In death, where does the master of my being go? The film does not answer the koans. It rather invites you to ponder on them as you watch an aging Zen master; his apprentice who is questioning his faith; and an orphaned boy who has wounded a bird and is beginning to realize that all may not be well. As someone remarked, this film is not about zen, it is zen.


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