Forest Hana


While climate change severely affects a forest surrounding a Buddhist temple, the temple food master, Seonjae who could find a harmonious way to coexist with her illness through meditative cooking, strives to pass down wisdom to young nuns and children.


Nestled in the mountains, in a 100-year-old Buddhist temple, Seonjae, the temple food master, approaches cooking as spiritual practice. Seonjae, who's in her late 60s, was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis so that she only had few months to live but could find a harmonious way to coexist with her illness through temple food practice. Since then, she meditates by feeling seasonal changes which are ultimately brought to her cooking. One day, she witnesses the mountain swept by the wildfire. This is her first encounter with the climate crisis in her skin, and a sense of urgency strikes her.

Around this time, her life long friend Anglican nun Catalina introduces a group of children to Seonjae to share her philosophy with them. She feels obligated to pass down her wisdom to the children on how to genuinely interact with nature. But Seonjae’s excitement goes away as she holds the first class. The children run around the temple, lying on the floor. They don't listen to her. They are used to modern life so her teaching doesn't resonate with them. Seonjae is perplexed.

She also teaches another group of students: Young Buddhist nuns who just began their nunhood. They share their concern about apprenticeship and meditation practice. Seonjae sincerely listens and shares her advice with them. She remembers the time she asked for wisdom from her masters when she just began her nunhood. So she takes the journey to find better ways to pass down the spirit of the temple food to the children and young nuns. She decides to visit her masters to seek for wisdom…

Director: Junsung Kim
Producer: Hayerin Kim
Executive producer: Ken-ichi IMAMURA
Production status: End of the production
Completion schedule: Mid-2024

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