Capturing Existence: the Films of Carlos Reygadas ACMI presents


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“The ambitious first feature of writer-director Carlos Reygadas is the work of an exceptionally talented filmmaker.”

A painter, played by non-professional actor Alejandro Ferretis, leaves Mexico City, looking for a place to die. 

In a small remote village that he visited as a child, he meets Ascen (Magdalena Flores), an elderly woman who offers him shelter. Ascen begins to bestow small acts of kindness on the man while the natural world ebbs and flows around him; slowly luring him back into the world of the living.

Premiering at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival where it was awarded ‘Golden Camera - Special Mention’, Japón heralded a new era of Mexican cinema; one that was defiantly local yet had artistic roots in the global art cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky and Abbas Kiarostami.

Newly restored for the Criterion Collection, Japón remains a groundbreaking work that helped define cinema in the new millennium and established Reygadas as a major directing talent.