June 8, 2012
Deal with the Devil
Faust in Ruský
Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on June 2012
Literature meets cinema in Russian director Alexander Sokurov’s Faust (2011; pictured), a new take on the legend of a doctor who sells his soul to the devil, currently at Ginza’s Cine Switch (4-4-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku ; www.cineswitch.com). The German-language film, which won the Golden Lion at Venice last year, is influenced by the novels of Goethe and Thomas Mann.
The South Korean drama The Journals of Musan (2010) hits the screens at Shibuya’s Image Forum (2-10-2 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku; www.imageforum.co.jp) beginning June 9. The brutally realistic film shows the struggles of a North Korean man after he escapes to Seoul.
Kibo no Sigunaru (“Signal of Hope”), a documentary about efforts to tackle high suicide rates in rural Tohoku, is screening at Pole Pole (4-4-1 Higashi Nakano, Nakano-ku; www.mmjp.or.jp/pole2) from June 16. Over 300,000 people have taken their lives in Japan in the past decade, and rates are the highest in Akita Prefecture, where the NPOs featured in the doc are teaming up to give residents a brighter view of life.