Japan 2021

Fire Festival


Yanagimachi’s breathtaking, austere fable follows a lumberjack who resists development in his remote fishing village.

Image from Fire Festival

Japan 1984
Dir Mitsuo Yanagimachi
With Kinya Kitaôji, Kiwako Taichi, Norihei Miki, Junko Miyashita
English subtitles

A lumberjack in a remote fishing village resists development in this breathtaking fable, which mingles the earthy and everyday with the mysticism of Shinto lore, and slowly builds towards a devastating climax. An admirer of Mizoguchi and Bresson, Yanagimachi directed a sequence of austere and haunting dramas; this film, which he called a study of ‘the relationship between nature and man’, is considered his masterpiece.