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INUGAMI

Japan, 2000 (MIFF 2001, Shadows – The Dark Side of Cinema)

Director: Masato Harada

The savage dog spirits of Shikoku are restless. Their guardians, the women of the Bonomia Clan, have kept them safely imprisoned within clay jars for a quarter century. The arrival of a handsome teacher and his burgeoning but forbidden affair with a local paper maker threatens to shatter the delicate comic balance in the region. Masato Harada (Kamikaze Taxi. MIFF 1996, Bounce, MIFF 1998) ventures into the territory of dark fantasy with Inugami. With a similar malevolent atmosphere as the Ring trilogy, the film uses special effects carefully and economically, favouring mounting tensions and a creeping sense of imminent terror. Spectacular landscapes are infused with shadows and fleeting shapes. The heavily wooded mountains have presence all their own. Clan conflicts bail over into murderous rage and it may be too late to avert the vengeance of the Inugami. In official competition, Berlin, 2001.

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