Last year’s film “Creepy” director Kiyoshi Kurosawa returned to the San Diego Asian Film Festival in the form of his latest work “Before We Vanish”. The film took its audience on a journey of both survival and philosophical.

Based on the play by Tomohiro Maekawa, Narumi Kase’s (Masami Nagasawa, “I Am a Hero”) life turned upside down when her husband Shinji (Ryuhei Matsuda, “The Mohican Goes Home”) suddenly lost all his memories. The doctor claimed it to be temporary amnesia, but it was strange that he forgot some normal functions. She recently found out that he and a co-worker had an affair but now became his reluctantly became his caretaker. The now stoic man seemed to have no comprehension of daily life and asked her strange questions about logic and ideas. Little did she knew how his condition related to a recent murder and missing case in the area.

Before the film started on its Friday showing, Artistic Director Brian Hu gave a small introduction, mentioning how Kurosawa used “genre as a shell.” Using its alien antagonists, the sci-fi dove into the human mind and defined some of the abstract concepts that molded people into a society. Like in “Creepy,” this movie gave most of the needed information and players in the first half of the film, but it provided a lot of screentime to focus on the development of each of the main characters. It was interesting to see how that on the verge of annihilation, intimacy grew between the Kases and Shinji became someone Narumi never imagined. It was a touching story that had also has a good amount of action and horror through its other antagonistic characters. While there was not much suspense, it brought the thrills as the audience pondered about mankind’s psyche.

To read more on the film and check out some similar recommendations, visit the San Diego Asian Film Festival’s page. Follow Pacific Arts Movement to find out what other events they will be hosting.