Screened as part of NZIFF 2003

Japón 2002

Directed by Carlos Reygadas

Mexico / Spain In Spanish with English subtitles
130 minutes CinemaScope

Director, Screenplay


Diego Martínez Vignatti


Arvo Pärt


Alejandro Ferretis
Magdelena Flores


Rotterdam, Cannes (Directors’ Fortnight), Edinburgh, Toronto, Vancouver 2002


“Just in case we hadn’t already filed Mexico as a wellspring of great modern cinema, along comes Japón to drum home the fact. And yet where Amores perros and Y tu mamá también were giddying, adrenalised affairs, Carlos Reygadas’ sumptuous début proves altogether more meditative and soulful. The plot is folk-tale simple: relocating a depressed, disabled painter to a stark rural community, where he beds down in a peasant’s barn and begins – slowly, leisurely – to reconnect with nature. Beautifully acted, Japón is a startling, slow-burning beguiler of a movie.” — Xan Brooks, The Guardian 

“A no-holds-barred mix of the epic and the intimate, Carlos Reygadas’ gorgeous canvas on salvation recalls the gloriously faded landscapes of spaghetti westerns… The film combines a deliberate, painstaking attention to documenting the unfolding of life in a specific place with some elements out of left field (including helicopter shots, copulating horses, and a healthy dose of Arvo Pärt music). The visceral and hypnotic Japón is unlike any other Mexican film ever made…” — Mark Peranson