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EVIL DOES NOT EXIST U.S. Trailer: Ryûsuke Hamaguchi Ventures Into The Woods for His ‘Drive My Car’ Follow-Up

Following the global success of his Oscar-winning Drive My Car, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi ventured to a rural village just outside Tokyo to film – in secret – his newest drama. Evil Does Not Exist is considered a return to the director’s minimalist style featured in his previous hits, Happy Hour, Asako I & II, and Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy. Set in Mizubiki Village, it centers on the townspeople who become aware of developers planning to build a glamping site on their land which will undoubtedly affect the natural water supply they heavily rely on. It stars Hitoshi Omika, Ryo Nishikawa, Ryuji Kosaka, and Ayaka Shibutani. The film took home the Grand Jury Prize at Venice last year before making stops at TIFF and NYFF. Sideshow and Janus – collaborating with Hamaguchi again after the success of Drive My Car – have now released the U.S. trailer ahead of its release May 3.

In his TIFF review, editor-at-large Matt Delman wrote “Smaller in scope than Drive My Car but no less major, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Evil Does Not Exist is an unexpectedly funny and moving follow-up to his Oscar-winning epic… Learning about people through a compelling debate makes for a rewarding cinematic experience… We worry about the environmental impacts of corporatizing and developing on sacred lands, but there must be a balance, and this film conveys that struggle. Conjuring Princess Mononoke, the creature production design by Masato Nunobe is inspired… As the director of love tragicomedies The Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy and Drive My Car, we are expecting a lot from Hamaguchi, and luckily he delivers again. Perhaps the introvert in him retreated to the woods, to challenge himself to make something meaningful out of the mundane. Did you expect a Marvel movie? Hamaguchi is in his purest form with Evil Does Not Exist, another grand achievement for the master of conversation.”

Here’s the official synopsis:

In the rural alpine hamlet of Mizubiki, not far from Tokyo, Takumi and his daughter, Hana, lead a modest life gathering water, wood, and wild wasabi for the local udon restaurant. Increasingly, the townsfolk become aware of a talent agency’s plan to build an opulent glamping site nearby, offering city residents a comfortable “escape” to the snowy wilderness. When two company representatives arrive and ask for local guidance, Takumi becomes conflicted in his involvement, as it becomes clear that the project will have a pernicious impact on the community. Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s follow-up to his Academy Award®-winning DRIVE MY CAR is a foreboding fable on humanity’s mysterious, mystical relationship with nature. As sinister gunshots echo from the forest, both the locals and representatives confront their life choices and the haunting consequences they have.

Check out the U.S. trailer and poster below:

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M.J. O'Toole began writing for HtN in early 2021 during the Sundance Film Festival. An NYC native and lifelong cinephile, his favorite films include Chungking Express, The Three Colors Trilogy, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Lovers on the Bridge, and Midnight Cowboy. He is the Digital Marketing Manager for the agency 3rd Impression - working alongside Editor-at-large Matt Delman - that specializes in digital marketing for independent film. He holds a BA from Adelphi University and a Masters in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts. You can check out his portrait and street photography on Instagram.

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