Two years after Ryûsuke Hamaguchi's Drive My Car took home the Oscar for Best International Feature Film — with additional nominations for Best Picture, Best Directing, and Best Adapted Screenplay — the venerated Japanese filmmaker returns with his next feature, Aku wa sonzai shinai, or Evil Does Not Exist.

The eco-fable is set in a small village outside of Tokyo, where Takumi (Hitoshi Omika) and his daughter Hana (Ryo Nishikawa) live a bucolic life in harmony with nature. But when a corporation announces its plan to build an opulent glamping site nearby, Takumi discovers that it will gravely impact the town's water supply — and his own way of life.

"In this film, I had a wonderful opportunity to work with Drive My Car's composer Eiko Ishibashi again. The project began when she asked me to create some footage for her live performance, and I conceived of the film as an 'original source material' for the footage," says Hamaguchi in his director's statement. "As I became more and more connected to this film we were creating, Eiko and her friends helped me a lot in the shooting, too. It was very free way of filmmaking, which vitalized me a lot."

"After the shoot, I felt that I had captured interactions of people in nature and completed the work as a single film with Eiko Ishibashi's beautiful theme music," the filmmaker adds. "I hope the audience will feel the life force of the figures that are stirring in nature and music."

Evil Does Not Exist premiered at last year's Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize and FIPRESCI Prize. (Poor Things ultimately claimed the Golden Lion for Best Film.) The film opens in U.S. theaters on May 3.

Watch the trailer below.


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ARCHIVES: Venice International Film Festival (Photos)