In the mountains on Yakushima island, in Japan, you mustn't do bad things or the gods will cast a spell on you. So people do their best to get along. But when a typhoon approaches and the winds grow stronger, people carry the gods down on their backs to protect them from the storm.
“Nature only exists in a certain relationship. By taking ourselves out of our milieu, we’ve turned it into a mechanical environment-object, […] and this is disastrous.”
Damien Faure opens his film with these words from Augustin Berque, geographer and philosopher and an expert on Japan. The director’s task is to grasp with sensitivity and directness the relationship that the inhabitants have managed to preserve with the mountains, forests and other elements that populate their milieu – in spite of the country’s modernisation that began in the Meiji era.
Network Coordinator for Environmental & Sustainable Development Education
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