EVIL DOES NOT EXIST
Deep in the forest of the small rural village Harasawa, single parent Takumi lives with his young daughter, Hana, and takes care of odd jobs for locals, chopping wood and hauling pristine well water. The overpowering serenity of this untouched land of mountains and lakes, where deer peacefully roam free, is about to be disrupted by the imminent arrival of the Tokyo company Playmode, which is ready to start construction on a glamping site for city tourists—a plan, which Takumi and his neighbors discover, that will have dire consequences for the ecological health and cleanliness of their community. The potent and foreboding new film from Oscar-winning director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (DRIVE MY CAR and WHEEL OF FORTUNE AND FANTASY, both at HIFF42) is a haunting, entirely unexpected cinematic experience that reconstitutes the boundaries of the ecopolitical thriller but with that Hamaguchi directorial touch (a neighborhood council meeting is the keynote of the film). This mesmeric journey diverges from country-vs-city themes to straddle the line between the earthly and the metaphysical.