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Anna Yamada attends a Sneak Preview Screening for Mountain Woman

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Sneak Preview Screening: Mountain Woman
(L to R) Japanese actress Anna Yamada and director Takeshi Fukunaga, pose for the cameras during a Q&A session for the film Mountain Woman (Yama Onna) at The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ) on June 26, 2023, Tokyo, Japan.

Japanese actress Anna Yamada and director Takeshi Fukunaga answered questions from journalists after the screening of the Japanese film Mountain Woman or Yama Onna. The film will be released in Japan on June 30.

Mountain Woman

The melancholy third movie from Takeshi Fukunaga, is set in a Tohoku village in the late 18th century, but it tells an existential story of man vs. nature, of rural human cruelty, of generational shame, and of personal resiliency in the face of impossible-to-soft discrimination.

In one of the most disturbing recent moments outside of the horror genre, Rin (Yamada) is shown helping a family get rid of a newborn as the movie opens. The hamlet is suffering from a catastrophic famine in its second year, and infants are being abandoned since they are just additional mouths to feed. As the lone daughter of an outcast household, Rin is forced to clean up the mess left by the other neighbors together with her small brother and negligent father, Ihei (Nagase).

Despite being surrounded by bucolic beauty, the lack of sunlight on the farmers’ crops and the scarcity of food drive the locals to harsh and desperate deeds. The village elders, who are all too eager to rely on antiquated superstitions for support, accept a myth involving virgin sacrifice as the answer to their predicament. Rin is chosen as the gods’ offering after being wrongfully charged with theft. She runs away to Mt. Hayachine, a prohibited place where the dead villagers’ souls go. She encounters a shadowy character (Moriyama), whom the locals fear tremendously, and her struggle for existence progressively turns into a quest for self-actualization.

With a score by Alex Zhang Hungtai that is evocative and beautifully shot in all-natural lighting by director of photography Daniel Satinoff (who also worked on “Tokyo Vice”), “Mountain Woman” is dark and atmospheric in a way that will remind viewers of social-realist movies from Japan’s golden age, like “The Ballad of Narayama.” This movie serves as a reminder that while cinema has evolved, times have not.

Casts of Mountain Woman

TAKESHI FUKUNAGA, a writer and filmmaker from Hokkaido, studied film in New York City. His first film as a director, “Out of My Hand” (2015), which was filmed in Liberia and New York City, had its world premiere in Berlin’s Panorama section and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award as well as the US Best Fiction Award at the LA Film Festival. His second movie, “Ainu Mosir” (2020, shot in Hokkaido), was selected by Netflix for global release after winning a Special Jury Mention at the Tribeca Film Festival. Recent projects include the planned remake of “Shogun” and several episodes of Season 2 of “Tokyo Vice.”

At the age of twelve, ANNA YAMADA had her television acting debut. Since then, she has continued to star in a number of well-known series. Her feature film debut, “Too Young to Die!” in 2016, followed swiftly by the lead role in the anti-bullying classic “Liverleaf” (2018). The films “Little Love Song” (2019), “Georama Boy Panorama Girl” (2020), “The Master Plan” (2021), “Suicide Forest Village” (2021), and “Unlock Your Heart” (2021) are some of the highlights in her filmography.

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Source: FCCJ.

To License these pictures please visit: ZUMAPRESS.


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