Director Jang Sun Woo might be best known for provocative, controversial films, such as Lies, A Petal, and To You From Me, but he has a quiet side as well. Winner of the Alfred-Bauer Prize at the 1994 Berlin Film Festival, HwaOmKyung (a.k.a. Passage to Buddha), one of Jang’s best works, is a quiet and evocatively beautiful meditation on life. Based on former monk and political activist Go Eun’s novel, HwaOmKyung is one of the best Buddhist-themed films Korea has produced. Oh Tae Kyung (Old Boy) gives a stunning performance as Seon Jae, a young boy who spends his life on the road in search of his mother. A modern unfolding of the Avatamsaka sutra, his spiritual odyssey leads him to telling encounters with strange people and, eventually, the essence of Buddhism.
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