MOVIES

First ‘Evil Does Not Exist’ Trailer Offers a Serene Look at Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Eco-Drama

  •  Japanese writer-filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s latest feature, Evil Does Not Exist, highlights the urgent need for ecological awareness.
  •  The film explores the clash between the natural beauty of Mizubiki Village and a company’s plans to build a glamping retreat, exposing the flaws and potential environmental harm.
  •  With a contemplative and silent tone, the trailer emphasizes the connection between nature and humanity, questioning whether heartfelt communication can resolve the conflict.

Climate and ecological awareness are some of the most important issues that faces the world today. While there are dissenting voices as to its veracity, most will agree that it is a challenge that requires urgent attention. Japanese writer and filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi, has brought the issue front and center in his upcoming ecological drama, Evil Does Not Exist. His latest film is a silent, contemplative piece set on a backdrop of snow covered trees and brilliantly clear sky. A trailer for Hamaguchi’s latest film places an emphasis more on mood than plot has been released.

The roughly over a minute trailer launches us into the embrace of nature from the onset. Here within these quiet environs, a father educates his daughter on the differences between pines and larches. A lesson the little one quickly grasps. Trees aren’t the only thing on the curriculum, identifying deer trails and their watering holes are equally a part of it. However, their tranquil silence is disrupted when a new company wishes to expand into nature’s quiet. “A little pollution won’t affect the water,” a voice claims out of shot.

Writer-filmmaker Hamaguchi’s latest offering is an eco-drama that introduces us to Takumi and his daughter Hana who live in Mizubiki Village, near Tokyo. Well versed in the beauty that surrounds their home, they are soon informed of the plans of a company to build a glamping retreat on the land. While the plan on the surface seems like a decent one, scratching beneath the surface, the community reveals to the company’s representatives the flaws in their proposed build. The sipping of their septic tanks which will pollute the nearby water, while the deer which reside around will jump into the glamping area, and a lack of personnel means guests will be largely unsupervised. Can heartfelt communication bring about a resolution?

The Team Behind ‘Evil Does Not Exist’

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After his Oscar-winning work on Drive My Car, Hamaguchi has scaled back, taking a more conservative approach for his next project. The cast of Evil Does Not Exist includes Hitoshi Omika as Takumi, Ryo Nishikawa as his daughter Hana, the representatives for the glamping company are portrayed by Ryuji Kosaka and Ayaka Shibutani. Rounding off the cast are Hazuki Kikuchi, and Hiroyuki Miura. The film is directed by Hamaguchi with Yoshio Kitagawa offering cinematography.

Evil Does Not Exist made its North American premiere at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival. Its theatrical release is yet to be announced. Check out the trailer below:

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