A mysterious adaptation of a short story by Hyakken Uchida (a Japanese modern author whose works have already been made into films, including by Akira Kurosawa), shot on 16mm, opening on a timeless image of a little boy who catches a big bee. The film cuts to an adult protagonist who goes to see the body of his little brother and finds his own face in that of the deceased. Memories and reality become confused – who do they belong to? – while additional characters populate nightmarish scenes filmed in desert megalopolises or equally abandoned woods. It is a surreal and slightly hypnotic film that plays with Japanese ghost stories, where the characters question whether they are alive or already on another plane of existence, reminiscent of the cinema of Kiyoshi Kurosawa.
“Reconsidering Jean-Paul Sartre’s words that ‘Existence precedes essence’ and reflecting on the existence of ourselves in the unpredictable and unstable current social situation.” (Aya Kawazoe)
Aya Kawazoe (Japan 1989) graduated from Tama Art University, where she learned filmmaking from Shinya Tsukamoto and Shinji Aoyama. After working in the film industry, she enrolled in the national film school in 2019 with Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Nobuhiro Suwa as tutors. Elephant Died (2012) was selected at Oberhausen. We Don’t Go Home (2014) screened at the Brive Film Festival. HUMONGOUS! (2020) was selected at the 2020 Cannes Critics’ Week and her first feature project Howling was selected at the Cannes Next Step 2021.
writer Aya Kawazoe (da un racconto di Hyakken Uchida)
script Jing Don
editor Jing Don
music Nobuhiko Hayashi
producer Ling Fang
cinematography Lizhi Zhu
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