To the Ends of the Earth

A film by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. In Japanese and Uzbek with German subtitles.

[Credits] [Tickets & Termine] [Trailer]

Yoko (play­ed by the for­mer lea­ding mem­ber of the idol girl group AKB48, Atsuko Maeda) is the repor­ter for a tele­vi­si­on tra­vel pro­gram who visits Uzbekistan with her tele­vi­si­on crew to make an epi­so­de for the pro­gram. She dreams of beco­m­ing a sin­ger. The film con­trasts Yoko’s upbeat on-came­ra per­so­na with her inter­nal con­flicts when she is on her own.

The film con­sists of a seri­es of epi­so­des in which Yoko wades into a lake to descri­be loo­king for a pos­si­b­ly mythi­cal Uzbeki fish; pro­c­laims the deli­cious crun­chi­ness of under-coo­ked rice in a bowl of plov, a local dish; repeated­ly takes nau­sea-indu­cing turns on a fun-park pen­du­lum ride until her came­ra crew can get enough B‑camera foo­ta­ge of her face; and tri­es to libe­ra­te a goat in cap­ti­vi­ty named Okoo only to learn that if she does, it will be eaten by wild dogs.

She and the crew visit Samarkand and Tashkent; in the lat­ter, she sings the clas­sic Édith Piaf anthem, Hymne à l’a­mour (with Japanese lyrics], in a fan­ta­sy sequence set at the Navoi Theatre which (as noted below) had been built after the war by Japanese POWs. During a visit to the bazaar, she wan­ders off with a hand-held came­ra and starts video­ta­ping in a restric­ted area. She runs away from the poli­ce, who even­tual­ly appre­hend her but tre­at her kind­ly, espe­cial­ly when she learns that her fire­figh­ter boy­friend may have been invol­ved in a mas­si­ve oil refi­ne­ry fire in Tokyo Bay, whe­re he was sta­tio­ned. (The boy­friend is never actual­ly seen or heard; all the audi­ence learns about him comes from texts he exch­an­ges with Yoko.)

In a fina­le set in the moun­tains, her crew once again in pur­su­it of a likely mythi­cal beast, she again sings Hymne à l’a­mour as she ima­gi­nes that she has caught sight of Okoo run­ning free in the distance.

Credits:

Tabi no Owari Sekai no Hajimari (旅のおわり世界のはじまり)
UZ 2019, 120 Min. japa­nisch, usbe­ki­sche OmU
Regie: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Kamera: Akiko Ashizawa
Schnitt: Koichi Takahashi
mit: Atsuko Maeda, Shota Sometani, Tokio Emoto, Adiz Rajabov, Ryo Kase

Trailer:
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