Trip to Nara (Vision): The cycles of paradise | Culture

Trip to Nara (Vision): The cycles of paradise | Culture

When, at the beginning of Trip to Nara (Vision), Satoshi (Masatoshi Nagase) cuts a log to provide himself with firewood and directs his gaze towards the sky, a gust of wind moves the branches of the trees, evoking the sketched ferocity of a sea that announces a storm. A certain apocalyptic breath goes through this film in which Naomi Kawase remains faithful to her essences, at the same time that she is placed in an unexpected territory of proximity to the cinema of catastrophes, suggesting more than one possible line of kinship with the poetry of Kiyoshi Kurosawa , the filmmaker who with greater insistence has deepened in the progressively spectral nature of the human condition. The director captures the natural life in its vibrant organicity, but her camera also goes through the tunnels that pierce the mountains, the railway tracks … the traces of human presence, in short.


Address: Naomi Kawase

Interpreters: Juliette Binoche, Masatoshi Nagase, Takamnori Iwata, Mari Natsuki.

Gender: fantastic. Japan, 2018

Duration: 109 minutes

Jeanne (Juliette Binoche), travel writer, travels to the thousand-year-old forests of Nara prefecture, in search of a mythological plant: the Vision, which releases its spores once every thousand years, a period of time that may also mark the cycle of renewal that nature needs to get rid of guests as aggressive as humanity itself. Trip to Nara (Vision) is one of the most enigmatic films of Kawase. It is also a work rich in expressive details -the way in which the punctual tear that runs along the Binoche's face anticipates the most elusive resonances of the plot- and generous in its reflexive capacity, as illustrated by that powerful conversation about the capacity of language to communicate concepts, so conditioned by their inability to convey feelings.

The forest of Nara, with its latent threat, is configured as fantastic territory, capable of abolishing time. There, the character of Jeanne can close an open story, which the film has been treating, with singular elegance, as elusive substrate of a present where the meeting between her and the opaque woodcutter Satoshi opens a possible path: that of love and affection , redeeming qualities of a human species to which a paradise was entrusted.


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