Vermilion Souls
Shureitachi Director: Masaki Iwana


Butoh is a Japanese art form that is considered a contemporary dance in the West. But Butoh is much more - more like a philosophy of life and motion - and its creators and participants consider it indefinable.

Butoh may be a dance, but it can be motionless. It does not have a fixed venue, content or form and the only common trait shared by various Butoh dancers is the white makeup that covers their faces and total control over their body.

The scene is Tokyo, seven years after World War II. Trying to catch leaflets falling from the sky, a young boy finds himself in a solitary country house with four people suffering from odd disease - Hizume, a calligrapher born without hands, and Nean, a former prostitute, Maria, who is deaf and blind and unable to move and Kakera, who has committed suicide. Guarding them is the lame Hinomaru, who shares in the solitude and isolation with his charges.

They all await the end the government has promised them, hoping for a release from their disease and the nightmares of their past.

With its unexpected and meditative qualities, the entrancing VERMILION SOULS stands on the boundary between cinema and but, intimating that the only way to truly live is to know that leaving is inevitable. The unique atmosphere of the film - different from popular Japanese cinema - helps create for the camera the "being and living" of the world-famous Butoh dancers.

VERMILION SOULS is a work for connoisseurs who want to partake of a fragment the different and little-known world of Japan.

Sten Saluveer


Festivals and awards: Lyon, Gijon
Links: Homepage

Programme: Official Competition Programme EurAsia

Country: Japan
Year: 2008
Length: 104
Language: Japanese
Producer: Syukichi Koizumi, Masaki Iwana, Hiroyuki Kawaida
Screenplay: Masaki Iwana
Director: Masaki Iwana
Cinematography: Pascale Marine
Music: Hirokazu Hiraishi, Bill Fairhill, Rob Whitehead etc
Editor: Cedric Defert

Cast: Mohamed Aroussi, Valentina Miraglia, Taku Furusawa, Ryoichi Negishi, Yuri Nagaoka

Producer: La Maison du Butoh Blanc


Comments(24)
Masaki Iwana

Masaki Iwana is one of the most acclaimed Butoh performers in Japan today, and one of the rare Butoh performers in the world who maintains the original
Butoh spirit. In the 1960's he worked in Japanese broadcast station TBS where he developed fascination in monochrome film. In 1969 Iwana began his dance
career and since then he has given performances and workshops in 35 countries.VERMILION SOULS is his feature film début.

Shureitachi (Vermilion Souls, 2008)


Sunday, 30. November 17:30
Coca-Cola Plaza 2 (Estonian and English subtitles)
Guest: Director Masaki Iwana
Add to own timetable   Buy ticket

Monday, 01. December 20:00
Von Krahli Teater (English subtitles)
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