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To the Ends of the Earth
Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa • 2019 • Japan, Uzbekistan, Qatar
Starring Atsuko Maeda, Shota Sometani, Tokio Emoto
Yoko (former J-pop idol Atsuko Maeda) travels with a small crew from Japan to Uzbekistan (breathtakingly captured by veteran DP Akiko Ashizawa) to shoot an episode of her reality-TV travel show. In front of the camera, her persona is carefree and happy-go-lucky, but behind the scenes she is cautious and introverted. Despite her best efforts, all the shoots end unsuccessfully. Frustrated, she takes to the streets of Tashkent on her own and finds herself adrift, confronting her deepest fears and hidden aspirations. Through a brilliant mix of black comedy, travelogue, drama, and showbiz satire, master director Kiyoshi Kurosawa (CURE, TOKYO SONATA) traces a young woman’s journey from displacement to self-discovery.