Welcome to Uzbekistan! This remote and desolate land is the latest pilgrimage for Japanese travel video presenter Yoko (former J-pop idol Atsuko Maeda) and her three person crew. Bright and bubbly on camera, Yoko is actually an introvert, anxious about the state of her relationship and her career. The shoot isn’t going smoothly: a fishing expedition comes up empty handed (the local fisherman complains that the fish don’t like women) and a food cart pitstop culminates in Yoko savouring uncooked rice for the camera. Yet as the days pass, she is drawn into exploring the mysteries of this alien culture, and starts to assert her own stamp on the show.
From cult director Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Tokyo Sonata; Pulse), To the Ends of the Earth is a beguiling, droll drama which captures the rootlessness, vulnerability, curiosity and opportunity of tourism. Shot with rare skill and delicacy, the film sometimes seems to be going nowhere, then shows you things so unexpected and magical, it opens up your senses. It’s also (whisper it) a closet musical…
"Quietly immersive and spellbinding." Neil Young, Hollywood Reporter
"Strangely, unexpectedly involving and touching." Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Atsuko Maeda, Ryo Kase, Shota Sometani, Adiz Radjabov, Tokio Emoto
Share this film
Please note that VIFF Connect online films can be viewed in British Columbia only.