Guided by her grandfather's WWII-era diary, Sora searches for a mysterious trove in the wilderness of her hometown. Meanwhile, a mysterious mute and backwards-walking homeless man wanders into town who may be the catalyst to put her shattered relationship with her father back together.
144 Min / Black & White/ 2.35:1 / DCP / Japanese
SORA - WAN MARUI
BACKWARD WALKING STRANGER - HIDEMASA MASE
FATHER - TAICHI YAMADA
HARU - SEIRA KOJIMA
HARU’S FATHER - TAKUZO SHIMIZU
WRITER/DIRECTOR - ANSHUL CHAUHAN
CINEMATOGRAPHER - MAX GOLOMIDOV
SOUND - ROB MAYES
MUSIC - YUMA KODA
1ST AC - PETTER MOEN JENSEN
PRODUCER - ANSHUL CHAUHAN
EXE PRODUCER - NOBUAKI EBIHARA
CO - PRODUCER - MINA MOTEKI
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER - TAICHI YAMADA
It all started with an article I read about a man who lost his family in a car accident and started walking backwards, as if this would let him go back time. The story really stuck with me and I wanted to do something with it in my work. But as usual, the funds (or rather lack thereof) dictated what sort of film I could make, so I kept playing with the concept while I tried developing a script that would be feasible. It wasn't until I visited Gifu that things really started coming into place; I began to put together pieces from my own life and fit them into the script, namely certain stories I heard from my grandmother about reincarnation. Sora, the main character, exploring her late grandfather's military life through his diary, and a mysterious homeless man is literally walking backwards like the man in the article. Both are reflections of that same human desire to go back in time, to cleanse our regrets. It's a very personal film for me, because I also come from a military family and have been through the training. But military life isn't meant to be the main focus of the film. Rather, it's to explore the idea of going backwards, both mentally and physically, in order to find ourselves.
Sora is actually loosely based on a girl I know in real life. Schoolgirls as main characters are a common trope in Japanese films, but I wanted to create a role that stood out from the ones usually found in cliched love stories. The idea of a girl living in the comfortable modern age learning about the harsh reality of a time that is so far removed form her own was one I was eager to explore. As well, I was also inspired by videos I'd seen of exhibitions to discover war relics that had been buried - a practice my own grandfather took part in.
Though I wanted to keep the immaterial and spiritual aspects of the film more subtle, they are definitely there. I feel like these things are truly beyond our understanding, which means that there is a lot of room to play with them in fiction and make your own rules - or leave it open for interpretation.
DIRECTOR / PRODUCER