Virtual Screening Room: To the Ends of the Earth

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2019 • dir Kiyoshi Kurosawa w/Atsuko Maeda, Ryô Kase, Shôta Sometani, Adiz Rajabov, Tokio Emoto • 120 min

Yoko (former J-pop idol Atsuko Maeda) travels with a small crew to Uzbekistan (breathtakingly captured by veteran DP Akiko Ashizawa) to shoot an episode of her reality TV travel show. In front of the camera her persona is carefree and happy-go-lucky, but behind the scenes she is cautious and introverted. Despite her best efforts, all the shoots end unsuccessfully. Frustrated by these failures, she takes to the streets of this mysterious country on her own. Lost in the streets of Tashkent, she finds herself adrift and alone, confronting her deepest fears and hidden aspirations. A brilliant mix of black comedy, travelogue, drama, and adventure, TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH is a young woman’s journey from displacement to a place of self-discovery.

World premiered as the closing night film at 2019 Locarno Film Festival, To the Ends of the Earth was commissioned to mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and the central Asian republic of Uzbekistan.

“Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s contemplative and critical melodrama is a travelogue about a travelogue, a tale of the fabrications of reality TV and their effect on the fabricators.”
– Richard Brody, New Yorker

“Quietly immersive and spellbinding.”
– Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter

“With ‘To the Ends of the Earth,’ Kurosawa celebrates the conquering of fear as our greatest hope against the world’s horrors.”
– Sam C. Mac, Slant