Gateway | Gateway
Four monks gather at a temple to see their esteemed mentor Do-Bub, but none of them are particularly enlightened. From the calculating chief monk and the meat-eating womanizer to the silver-tongued moneymaker and the vain Instagram heartthrob, they all seem more interested in self-gain than asceticism. Nevertheless, the worldly monks have to respond to an unsavoury truth about Do-Bub. In the subsequent days, memories are awakened and characters tested as the monks reflect on their experiences, desires, and fears, as well as the realization that someone will have to be Do-Bub’s successor.
Director Moon Jeong-yun’s satiric yet spiritual work strikes an enlightening balance between poking fun at hypocritical clergy and transcendence. The film often provides head-shaking laughs over the shallow materialism and vulgar small talk of the monks. The picturesque rustic scenery, eloquent composition and wise Buddhist teachings frame moments of revelation that recalls Kim Ki-duk’s Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring.