The slowly seen drama “Ainu Mojir” unfolds in Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, where Ainu people live and work in a small town. By day, residents welcomed tourists’ boats to explore their village, survey their traditions and buy souvenirs. Behind the image sold to visitors, the community struggles to preserve authentic Ainu culture.
movie, Streaming on netflix, The teenager follows Kanto (Kanto Shimokura), as he struggles with his father’s defeat and the emerging crisis of identity. He lives with his mother, who runs a local shop, but when considering high schools, Kanto expresses a desire to look outside the Ainu community, which he finds constrained. When making music with his garage band, he appears most disappointed when he accompanies his lyrics with the original song lyrics or “Johnny B. Gode”.
In keeping with Kanto’s agony, community leader Debo (Debo Akibe) begins to recognize Tinu as a teenager, including a close connection to the nature of culture. He introduces Kanto to the bear cub and invites him to take care of the animal, although Debo fails to state that the bear must be sacrificed as part of the soon-to-be-revived Ainu ritual.
“Ainu Mosir” struggles with perspective; The story seems torn between Kanto’s tensions and the tensions faced by his community, which makes each camera a more distant scene than intimate. Nevertheless, as the weather changes and the village nears on the day of the ceremony, writer-director Takeshi Fukunaga demonstrates admirable control of mood. Rather than relying on dialogue, Fukunaga allows emotions to shine through musical performances – a school anthem, folk songs, drunken karaoke. These scenes speak for themselves, and they construct the story with quiet power.
Not rated. In Japanese and Ainu with subtitles. Running Time: 1 hour 24 minutes. Watch on Netflix.