West Jai, Chauveau Nagisa
Nagisa has been living for two years with the remorse of never having answered the last letter sent to her by her twin sister Sayo before her death. A message from Paris, begging her to leave Japan to come and visit her. To catch up and communicate one last time with her sister, Nagisa will have to resolve herself to perform an ancient Shinto ritual, which will catch the eyes of the Gods. The Gods will send her a taxi from the beyond, to lead her through the world of the dead. The price to pay for this supernatural journey will be a year of her life for every hour she spends in this dimension. But it is probably the best way to regain peace of mind, and to learn a lot about herself.
Director Jeremy Rubier, who has presented numerous shorts at the Fantasia festival (RATRI, THE WHITE EYED), returns this year with his impressive debut feature film, shot mostly in Japan. The film explores both the country's ancestral culture through its narrative and its impressive landscapes that seem to come from another world. The energy in this independent production may remind one of Jim Jarmusch's ardour and freedom, but with many influences from Asian fantasy cinema, such as Miyazaki's films. It's a road movie in another dimension, where poetry mixes with fantasy. The film nevertheless explores universal themes such as mourning and the quest for identity, which are central to the strong emotions that emerge from the story. But with its fragmented narrative construction and its staging in astonishing locations, SAYO is an experience that’s out of this world. Translation: Rupert Bottenberg
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