(Poh Diaries) – Acclaimed Japanese director, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, continues his streak of success with his latest film, “Evil Does Not Exist.” The film, which centers around a single father and his daughter, takes viewers on a journey into the intricate relationship between humans and nature.
Hamaguchi, known for his critically acclaimed films “Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy” and “Drive My Car,” has garnered international recognition for his unique storytelling and captivating visuals. The latter even brought Japan its first Oscar in 20 years.
“Evil Does Not Exist” was born out of a collaboration between Hamaguchi and composer Eiko Ishibashi. Ishibashi invited the director to create video images for a live musical piece, and this partnership ultimately inspired the creation of the film.
Set in a quiet rural village near Tokyo, the story revolves around Takumi, a single father, and his daughter, Hana. Their tranquil way of life is threatened when plans to construct a glamping site in the area emerge, posing a significant challenge to their existence.
The film delves into the characters’ deep connection with nature and the profound impact that human intentions have on the ecological balance of the village. Hamaguchi’s intention is for viewers to immerse themselves in the characters’ movements and reflect on the multifaceted meanings and thoughts behind every scene – much like listening to music.
Influenced by the works of legendary filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard and the composition style of Eiko Ishibashi, the film seamlessly incorporates music in a non-emotional manner, creating a sense of sophistication and sharpness.
Hamaguchi’s choice of camera movements further enhances the viewers’ experience by capturing the characters’ reactions to each other and their natural surroundings. The picturesque rural community becomes a character in itself, as the camera transports audiences to a place full of life and beauty.
Unlike Hamaguchi’s previous films, which focused on rehearsal and dramatic performances, “Evil Does Not Exist” explores the technical aspects of filmmaking. The director views it as an exercise that will shape his future works, pushing the boundaries of his artistic expression.
The enigmatic title, “Evil Does Not Exist,” originated during the director’s field research for the script. Hamaguchi associates it with the notion that evil seems nonexistent when contemplating the vastness of the natural landscape. However, he clarifies that the title does not reflect his personal beliefs but serves as a way to provoke interpretation, much like the title of a musical composition.
With “Evil Does Not Exist,” Ryusuke Hamaguchi continues to captivate audiences with his thought-provoking storytelling and visually stunning compositions. The film invites viewers to reflect on the interplay between humans and nature, leaving them with an experience that resonates long after the credits roll.
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