Inori doesn’t just mean prayer in Japanese, it is one as well in Pedro González-Rubio’s (Alamar
, New Directors Prizewinner SFIFF 2010) latest, blending documentary and narrative. There are only five characters, poetically nameless, some of the few remaining citizens of a mountain town that has lost most of its inhabitants to death or migration. These residents are the final, quiet vanguard of Kannogawa—miles away from the glitz of Tokyo and even farther away in time. “Soon there’ll only be mountain left,” one resident says, just after praying at her husband’s grave. The residents say their children moved away because the jobs dried up, but it’s clear that their kids left for more than work. These five hang on, continuing to live in their homes in the fashion of subsistence farmers, deeply connected to land that is blessed with heavenly scenery and the quietly chime-like tinkle of a nearby river. Perhaps it’s only these few who know how to appreciate the town anymore—there’s a reason these neighbors are so aware of “crossing into the other realm.” Surrounded by sublime landscapes and living by the times and rhythms dictated by nature, they’re as close to god as humans on earth can be.
With short: Home
We often think of houses as solid, strong, permanent things. In fact they can be weak, fragile and, as this film shows, mobile. A lyrical short that ponders the question of what makes a house a home. (Thomas Gleeson, New Zealand 2012, 11 min)