• 97'
  • Japan
  • 2022

A story of finding a place to root yourself when life’s obstacles have dispirited you. Chang-su, a former equestrian athlete for the South Korean national team, was forced to give up on his dream early. He finds himself working at a quarry in the rural town of Maniwa in western Japan, where he lives with Minami and her infant daughter. Yamabuki, a teenage girl, begins to stage silent protests that blossom into community action, much to the dismay of her policeman father. The quiet surface of this rural town is gradually peeled off to reveal frustration and loneliness that, once given a voice, begin to connect people.

Shot on grainy 16mm, this quietly radical film paints a portrait of contemporary Japan as a country where silence is preferred over confrontation. But it also shows that friction creates sparks, which lead to dialogue and understanding. Writer-director Yamasaki Juichiro, who brought The Sound of Light (IFFR 2012) to Rotterdam ten years ago, returns once again to his hometown of Maniwa, which has become multicultural with migrant workers comprising a large part of its mining workforce. Here, Yamasaki spotlights how each inhabitant contributes to complicating any attempt to give an easy definition of a townsperson. The playfully ethereal music by Olivier Deparis lifts the film into fairytale territory, making it hard to place despite being unimaginable anywhere else.

Yamasaki Juichiro
Countries of production
Japan, France
Production Year
Festival Edition
P&I Selection 2022
Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese
Osanaï Terutarô, Akamatsu Shoko, Watanabe Atsuto, Masago Takeshi, Yamasaki Juichiro
Production Companies
Film Union Maniwa, Survivance
Yamasaki Juichiro
Tawara Kenta
Production Design
Nishimura Risshi
Sound Design
Kondo Takao, Samukawa Masami
Olivier Deparis
Kang Yoon-Soo, Inori Kilala, Kawase Yohta, Wada Misa, Miura Masaki, Kurozumi Hisao, Matsuura Yuya, Aoki Munetaka