Film review: Yanagawa (2021) by Zhang Lu

Most of us have a sort of bucket record with issues like visiting distant locations, doing one thing we’re terrified of however drawn to, saying ‘no’ to somebody who made our life depressing, constructing a factor that might make different folks jealous or no matter floats our particular person boats. We might most likely have much more concepts if the clock was ticking quicker than one would really like it to. What can be that one factor we completely wanted to do if we had the worst of all information being delivered to us?

“Yanagawa ” is screening at Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema

Zhang Lu builds the plot of his mild drama “Yanagawa” round that idea, sending Dong (Zhang Luyi, aka Edward Zhang) on a visit to “Venice of Japan” Yanagawa together with his older brother Li Chun (Bai Qing Xin). Dong has been recognized with 4th stage of most cancers, and it’s a street of no return which he silently accepts, deciding to not lose the phrase about it to anybody besides to a stranger he has a brief cigarette break with earlier than the designated journey. His plan is to erase his previous, however he forgets that he’s about to contribute to the genesis of an enduring reminiscence of his existence.

“Yanagawa” is a contemplative movie about folks of various nature and completely different cultures that come collectively within the titular, oddly abandoned Japanese metropolis. Zhang turns its quiet magnificence into a bonus by setting the essential scenes towards the backdrop of the plush greenery and spectacular structure alongside the river financial institution splendidly caught by the lens of Park Jung-hun.

Within the movie, native and Chinese language songs are sung, previous tales are retold and new ones created in three languages alike: Chinese language, Japanese and English. cultures meet and (nearly fully) don’t conflict in a utopian-like story of affection and understanding misplaced after which discovered.

The Korean-Chinese language director additionally tackles the query of nationwide id and ‘belonging’. A kind of duality is given in polarity of two brothers extraordinarily completely different in nature, who occur to be talking in numerous accents. The youthful one finds that Pekingese is brutal and that: “it appears like bullets out of a mouth”. One brother speaks Japanese and communicates in English, the opposite is a proud Chinese language man who at all times discover one thing to complain about concerning ‘them’.

One other attention-grabbing layer of the story is the dusting of human reminiscence. How a lot can we actually depend on our footage from the previous? Are they devoted to the reality or modified to correspond our model of it? Dialogues construct on completely different variations of the identical occasions skilled by three folks sound plausible, like they’re merely echoing their very own thoughs within the seek for solutions.

A bit into the movie, the key about why the journey needed to result in Yanagawa is revealed: the previous love curiosity of each brothers who disappeared with out phrases nearly 20 years in the past, lives there. They appear up for her on the bar the place she performs as a singer. The query about why of all locations would a lady transfer to Yanagawa doesn’t dangle lengthy within the air. Chuan’er (Ni NI) clarification comes nearly instantly – it’s town that shares her title in Chinese language – Li Chuan. There’s additionally an precise, bodily connection between her and her new house: a younger Japanese man (performed by wonderful Sosuke Ikematsu), whom she met in England.

“Yanagawa” had its world premiere in Tallinn within the official collection of PÖFF, which is able to most likely catapult its possibilities of being proven at additional worldwide movie festivals.



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