Here they go. Two films I’d recommend you to watch with (your) kids. They are both Korean films and both bring among other perspectives, the perspective of children. Both will help us challenge the way wee see our reality and the way we deal with problems, emotions, relationships, life, death and faith.
Oseam (1990) is a film based in a South Korean fairy tale written by Jeong Chae-bong which was itself based in an oral legend. The original fairy tale is a buddhist one and has strong religious moral for kids and adults. The film, on the other hand, focus on the life of two kids alone in the world and who were adopted by buddhist monks in a monastery. There is the brother who is 5 years old and the sister who is older and blind. The boy doesn’t know that his mother is dead and that he will never be able to ‘see’ her again. Nobody feels like telling him the truth and breaking his expectations of meeting with her one day. The girl is a wise one who carries the sadness of remembering the day they lost their mom. She is the one who looks after Gil-sun (the boy) until they get to the monastery.
The film brings beauty in its image and sounds. They boy is only a naughty 5-year-old kid, but he is able to describe the world to his sister and to help her see the things around. It’s very poetic. The girl, who can’t see, tries to help her brother see with the eyes of the spirit. She is the only one to be able to see their mom in dreams. Buddhism perspectives of life and death is a strong part of the film and the end is when it is more clearly stated. It’s beautiful in a way I can’t describe here. It’s sad but it does not hurt kids. It’s philosophical. It’s not beautiful because it is buddhist. It is beautiful because it shows affection for children’s innocent, pure and playful way of living.
If you are used to show only Disney adaptations of occidental fairy tales to your kids, give yourself a chance to watch Oseam.
The way home
The way home (I could only find it in English) is another South Korean film that will make you cry not because it is sad, but mainly because it shows beauty in our most difficult human relationships. It’s about a boy and his mute grandmother who lives far from urban life and will be asked to take care of him for a while.
I hope you will be able to find beauty in those two films. I hope they will give you a chance to look inside and around you with a third eye. I hope the kids who watch them with you will ask you lots of questions you won’t be able to answer without showing affection for their innocence.