Mon | Feb 17 | 5:15 PM
Journey + Clash + Discovery
To the Ends of the Earth is the return of Japanese master of suspense Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Using a brilliant shift in tone from his usual fare he chronicles the misadventures of a Japanese TV host compiling travelogue video journals on assignment in Uzbekistan. With a stunning and assured performance by pop-star, Atsuko Maeda, To the Ends of the Earth offers a stirring and darkly humorous examination of culture class in a classic fish-out-of-water tale with a modern twist.
Yoko, a cautious, introverted, and determined host of a popular TV travel show is full of charisma and game-for-anything attitude. Gallivanting through the gorgeous and unknown areas of the fabled Silk Road she’s often forgotten or ignored by the small crew she’s on the road with. Soon everything goes wrong. As the programme runs dry on ideas, she tries to forge her own connections to Uzbekistan and soon her cultural assumptions knock her off course. Frustrated by the failed filming, she decides to set aside her host duties and take a stroll on her own. Lost in the streets of a foreign city, she finds herself adrift and alone, confronting her fears and hidden aspirations.
Although it’s a departure from his earlier work, To the Ends of the Earth is a journey into the unknown with the promise of self-discovery. At times laugh-out-loud hilarious when calling attention to cultural insecurities and miscues, Kurosawa proves with charm and ingenuity that he’s one of the most observant and forward-thinking filmmakers working today. – Ravi Srinivasan
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