Ayaka is in hospital and the news is not good: due to arteriosclerosis she will lose her legs. While she still can, she paces the leafy hospital surroundings in search of a suicide spot. She finds the perfect tree, one with a sturdy branch from which to hang herself. Just as she loops a noose around her neck, she is interrupted by a mysterious patient named Yoshino. This slightly macabre girl is also afflicted by a disease, but a fantastical one that will see her turn into a tree. Even though Ayaka is surrounded by death, disease, and defective bodies, Yoshino’s intervention leads her to cling on to life, no matter how absurd.
SANO offers a highly engaging film, both visually and aurally, as it presents surreal scenes. Underlying it is a message about adapting to maintain life and appreciating it in its many forms. The plant-based set design, atmospheric lighting, off-kilter framing, dreamy/ominous piano score, and pitch-perfect performances offer an odd but affecting life-affirming tale. [Jason MAHER]
Director: SANO Masaru (佐野大)
Cast: FUJIDERA Minori (藤寺美徳) / TAKAISHI Akari (髙石あかり)
2024 | Japan | 27min | Language: Japanese | English subtitles
Distributor: Giggly Box