From Korea , Bhutan , and Germany , we have (3) diverse and spiritually uplifting cinema experiences. The Korean and Tibetan films were picked by Chiko Faria as her outgoing gift. The German film was picked by TFC member, Stefanie Mirghanbari.
KING OF THIEVES, aka KONIG DER DIEBE (2004) Directed by Ivan Fila @ 101 minutes—in German with subtitles. The film stars Lazar Ristovski, Iakov Kultiasov, Katarina Thalbach, and Julia Khanverdieva. Two amateur “circus kids” from a poor Ukrainian village, are sold to a circus artist who promised them a career in the West—but instead he smuggled them into Berlin and separated them. The girl is forced into a life of prostitution, and the boy becomes a petty criminal. As harsh as this plot sounds, the movie ends on an up beat.
TRAVELERS AND MAGICIANS (2003) Written and directed by Khyentse Norbu @ 108 minutes—in Dzongkhu/Bhutanese with subtitles. The film stars Tsewang Dandup, Sonam Lhano, and Lhakpa Dorji. A young government official, who feels trapped in his Bhutanese village, yearns to travel all the way to America . While hitchhiking, he falls in with a group of fellow travelers. The story is a sometimes humorous, sometimes discomforting “collision” of the traditional and the modern. Why would one want to escape Shangri-La? Tagline: “the bitter and the sweet of temporary things”.
SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER AND SPRING, aka BOM YEOREUM GAEUL GYEOUL, GYERIGO BOM (2003), Written and directed by Ki-Duk Kim @ 103 minutes—in Korean with subtitles. The film stars Ki-Duk Kim, Yeong-Su Oh, Young-Min Kim, and Yeo-Jin Ha. A Buddhist master, who lives on a floating temple in the middle of a beautiful lake, choose to raise a young boy and teach him the ways of Zen; but the young man grew up with wanderlust. Leaving, he found that life in the real world was harsh beyond his capacity to cope. Returning, years later, he had to search for his redemption. Tagline: T.S. Eliot wrote in FOUR QUARTETS, “…and the aim of all our wandering is to arrive again at the place from which we started—and know it for the first time.”
There was no theatrical film opening up that met our standards for this month. At least two of these films will screen at CSL. Roger and I will work on arranging for a third screening.