ARU SENDO NO HANASHI

  • Japan
  • 2019

The camera moves as calmly and elegantly as the water on which the old ferryman Toichi steers his boat to ferry travelers and the residents of the nearby village from one side of the riverbank to the other. The river is his life and he still has enough customers, but the construction of a bridge near the landing stage threatens his existence. However, his peaceful everyday life is immediately thrown off course by an unexpected encounter with a half-drowned girl, whom he takes in and whose wounds he tends. Neither of them are great talkers and they each have a past that threatens to catch up with them.

In his directorial debut, the exceptional Japanese actor Joe Odagiri therefore takes a lot of time with his characters, their faces, their gestures, every little detail, in order to get a little closer to them. But it is often the breathtaking landscape against which they act that steals the show in this film and to which Christopher Doyle's exquisite visual work, in the best tradition of Japanese cinematic art, lends a feeling of eeriness and otherworldliness that gets under your skin. pj

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