Despite the title, this film is not about a year, but about a lifetime that takes place at a hermitage on a beautiful tiny island/dock in the middle of a lake. A young boy is raised by a monk and goes through struggles, rebellion, despair, and eventually returns to take the place of the monk. The protagonist must make changes in his own attitudes and how he sees the world in order to fit where he belonged in the first place.
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring reminds us that no matter what struggle or difficulty we find ourselves in, no matter how the world seems to encroach on our freedoms and our abilities to do what we must, in the end, our lives are a cycle, the world is a part of a larger cycle, and all things come back to where they should me, if we would but endure. At times, being who we should be then patiently enduring in that being is the best we can do, and we can watch the world return to where it should be.
Also watch: Wild Strawberries, Ikiru, Temple Grandin, Boyhood
Keep reading other posts in the series: The Way Forward