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Evil Does Not Exist

Ryûsuke Hamaguchi
Language: Japanese with English subtitles Cast: Hitoshi Omika, Ryo Nishikawa, Ryuji Kosaka


May 21:5:00 pm, 7:10 pmMay 22:5:00 pm, 7:10 pm

A place of bucolic serenity is threatened by cynical urban developers in Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s exquisite drama. The latest from the Oscar-nominated director of Drive My Car is a slow burn that reveals the hidden potential for transformation on both sides of a fraught power dynamic. Takumi and his 8 year-old daughter Hana reside in a forested region of Japan that’s remained largely unsullied by large-scale development, until now. A pair of agents come to Takumi’s village to propose a “glamping” project, a resort for vacationers who want to feel like they’re camping without getting their fingernails dirty. One can imagine a version of this story focused exclusively on the locals’ resistance, but Hamaguchi does something more interesting: halfway through the film, he takes us from the village to the city and into the private worlds of the agents. He generates an intimate connection with the major characters, though they live according to such different time signatures. Things take a dramatic turn in the film’s last third, which speaks to the transformative power of performing simple, timeless tasks, and to the increasing difficulty of living in harmony with the natural world.--TIFF

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