Featured Image courtesy of San Diego Asian Film Festival.

San Diego Asian Film Festival brought over the latest of Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, “To The Ends of the Earth”.

Young Yoko is far from home in Uzbekistan filming for a travel show and things have not been going the way of the production team. They try to fish in Aydar Lake but they have no luck. A rushed schedule leaves her eating undercooked food and she suffers from severe motion sickness after going on an amusement ride for many shots. Whenever she has a large break, she wanders around the area. She does her best to stay away from others to safely make it from one place to the other but it is only time until her luck runs out.

For those familiar with Director Kurosawa’s work, he goes beyond the genre to present the narrative. SDAFF artistic director Brian Hu called “To The Ends of the Earth” as an “unpinnable object” in finding what genre it belongs in. It brings a dramatic slice of life seeing Yoko’s struggles and a bit of suspense with some scenes. It all leads into a lesson of understanding after pushing away some of that fear of those that are culturally different. Yoko’s dream of being in a musical couldn’t help think about the “Sound of Music” when looking at the mountain landscapes in the movie. The classic film is an interesting juxtaposition with “To The Ends of the Earth” dealing with racial differences and use of music. One can hope that people can take its message and no longer be lost in translation.

SDAFF brought several other of Kurosawa’s movies to the west coast years before. Check out our reviews of “Creepy” (found in our 2016 compilation article), “Before We Vanish” (2017) and last year’s “Yocho (Foreboding)”. For more information on “To The Ends of the Earth” and SDAFF, check out their website.