Evil Does Not Exist

  • Japan Evil Does Not Exist (more)
Trailer 5


Takumi and his daughter Hana live in Mizubiki Village, close to Tokyo. Like generations before them, they live a modest life according to the cycles and order of nature. One day, the village inhabitants become aware of a plan to build a glamping site near Takumi’s house offering city residents a comfortable “escape” to nature. When two company representatives from Tokyo arrive in the village to hold a meeting, it becomes clear that the project will have a negative impact on the local water supply, causing unrest. The agency’s mismatched intentions endanger both the ecological balance of the plateau and their way of life, with an aftermath that affects Takumi’s life deeply. (Venice International Film Festival)


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English A Japanese company wants to build a glamping centre in the countryside and the old-timers should just nod in agreement, because what more could you want than an influx of capital and Tokyo tourists. Wrong. The locals hold their own values, which are hard to grasp for city folk who have never touched an axe in their lives. Meanwhile, the corporate negotiators are no capitalist thieves (compared to, say, Europa), they just live, and even grew up, in a world far removed from that of the village. The cards are therefore dealt very promisingly, and Hamaguchi is not afraid to add his unique imprint to the mix. Normally I'm not a fan of long, wannabe artistic static shots, but here the thoughtful dosage of pacing and editing is crucial to portraying the contrast between the city and the countryside. Similarly, many of the lengthy passages from the opening only begin to take on significance as the film progresses. Indeed, as an actor here you really have to feel both the people and the natural elements. The whole thing creates an almost magical genius loci, where you're not sure if the locals' respect for nature is a bit irrational, or if it's justified and there's a punishment for not respecting it. By the end of the film, you'll have to find your own answer, but being there is definitely fascinating. ()

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