Mount Fuji, the holy Japanese volcano, is present in every shot of this kaleidoscopic compilation of photos. Balancing between documentary and fiction, this experiment has life blown into it on the soundtrack by an English woman’s reminiscences about her dead Japanese lover, who once climbed the volcano. Moving and philosophical.
Behind grey shreds of mist in fairytale landscapes, we keep seeing Mount Fuji, the Japanese volcano with its great symbolic significance, in ordinary family snapshots. All the shots in Ascent are real, but the story is fictional. After History’s Future, Fiona Tan again investigates the possibilities of film. Here the departure point is a montage of thousands of photos of the volcano, collected from sources ranging from the Izu Photo Museum to amateur photographers. On the expressive soundtrack, we hear the voices of fictional protagonists.
Thousands of miles from Japan, an English woman receives a package with the photos and notes of her dead Japanese partner. His account of his conquest of Mount Fuji evokes a stream of thoughts and associations. The higher he gets, the broader the perspective of this reflection on photography and film, reminiscence and mourning, eternal change, the essence of cherry blossoms and how some things can best be seen from afar.