As MOUNTAIN WOMAN opens, Rin goes about the job of helping a family dispose of a newborn. Her Tohoku village is in its second year of a devastating famine, and babies are being discarded because the villagers are unable to feed them. Rin’s family are outcasts, and she is obliged to do the other residents’ dirty work. When a local seer declares the village cursed, Rin is chosen as the first offering to appease the gods. However, after taking the blame for a theft, Rin has fled to the forbidden realm of Mt. Hayachine. There, her quest for survival gradually transforms into a journey to self-actualization. This haunting film may be set in the late 18th century, but its existential tale of man vs. nature, of human cruelty resulting from desperation, of generational shame, and of individual resilience in the face of impossibly harsh discrimination, resonates across the centuries. Atmospherically shot in all-natural lighting by cinematographer Daniel Satinoff of “Tokyo Vice,” edited by award-winning director Christopher Makoto Yogi, and with music composition by Alex Zhang Hungtai from AUGUST AT AKIKO’S.