The Albino's Trees
A poignant moral dilemma unfolding against lush mountainous landscapes, The Albino’s Trees follows Yuku (Ryohei Matsuoka), an animal control hunter who takes on a lucrative job to kill a rare white deer considered to be a god of the forest by a nearby village. Though Yuku initially steps up to the task in order to support his mother’s medical bills, his will begins to falter as he gets to know the villagers and the reasons behind their difficult choice to live as outsiders. Director Masakazu Kaneko renders these nuanced relationships with a measured pace and subtle touch, and the film’s panoramic vistas mix with tender close-ups of bodies in nature to probe some of the film’s biggest questions about what it means to act and live within the matrix of personal obligations, conformity to modern life and the larger rhythms of nature that bear quiet witness to human decisions.
Streaming in North America from December 3-23 as part of Flash Forward: Debut Works and Recent Films by Notable Japanese Directors