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To the Ends of the Earth(旅のおわり、世界のはじまり)

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Japan, Uzbekistan, Qatar · 2019
2h 0m
Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Starring Atsuko Maeda, Shota Sometani, Tokio Emoto, Ryō Kase
Genre Drama

A young Japanese woman named Yoko finds her cautious and insular nature tested when she travels to Uzbekistan to shoot the latest episode of her travel variety show. A brilliant mix of black comedy, travelogue, drama, and an adventure-imbued satire of modern show business.

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Kenny Nixon Profile picture for Kenny Nixon

maybe the greatest current filmmaker with a typically genre-shifting masterpiece where the protagonists insularity finds itself at odds with a responsive world

What are critics saying?


Slashfilm by

Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s To the Ends of the Earth encapsulates one woman’s blossoming from a reserved drone into a willing participant with Maeda’s subtle dynamism from a perpetually placid and pouty countenance to a focused visage.


Variety by Jessica Kiang

To the Ends of the Earth is not flawless — for one thing, it’s questionable whether a journey to as mild a shore as this one needs two hours to complete. But its rhythm is deceptive — the gentle currents of Kurosawa’s attention sluicing across the surface of the film like developer fluid, under which all the colors, dark and light, of the fulfilling but also contradictory experience of world travel come up true and sharp.


Los Angeles Times by Justin Chang

Despite or perhaps because of its lightly sketched premise, To the Ends of the Earth emerges as the director’s most gracefully assured work in a while, though his natural gift for building tension is still made subtly manifest.


The A.V. Club by Lawrence Garcia

Beginning as an offbeat, fish-out-of-water travelogue, To The Ends Of The Earth gradually incorporates elements of an adventure movie, self-reflexive film shoot, and even musical melodrama. By the end, it’s no less than one of the most moving films Kurosawa has ever made.


The Hollywood Reporter by Neil Young

A shaggy-seeming but carefully modulated affair, To the Ends of the Earth gradually emerges as an offbeat but persuasive investigation of culture-clashes and the potential for trans-global bridge-building.


Slant Magazine by Sam C. Mac

If Kurosawa is less interested in narrative dynamics, it’s because he’s focused on an acute understanding of societally and sociologically conditioned behavior.

88 by Simon Abrams

Trying to explain how this movie works as well as it does, without using excessive jargon or some kind of audiovisual aide, is tricky since “To the Ends of the Earth” isn’t about anything less than its heroine’s uncertain relationship with her foreign environment, and what she chooses to communicate simply by being seen and heard. Which is often thrilling to behold, but not so much to explain.

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