The Tale of Iya

Director: Tetsuichiro TSUTA
Cast: Rina TAKEDA / Shima OHNISHI / MinTANAKA / Naomi KAWASE

Genre: Nature / Civilization / Drama

[2013 / Color / 35mm (HD) / Stereo / 160 min. / Japanese with English subtitles]

[Festival Record]

Special Mention - Tokyo International Film Festival 2013

Winner - Aurora Award (Best Prize) /  23rd Tromso International Film Festival

Winner - Best Feature Award /  Pan-Asia Film Festival 2014

Winner - Jury Award /  Hong Kong International Film Festival 2014


It was summer when a stranger from Tokyo arrived at “Iya”, where the riches of nature still abound. This young man, named Kudo, was willing to live his new, self-sufficient life. He was exhausted by city life, and believed this beautiful land would give him some rest. On the contrary, the reality was not as easy as he thought. There was a confliction between a local construction company and a group of nature conservationists. Farmers are trying to save their harvests from harmful animals such as deer and monkeys. People are fighting for their own purposes: to get their job, to save the environment, or to survive.

One day, Kudo met Grandpa and a girl Haruna lives in the heart of the mountains. It was far away from any human habitations. No electricity, no gas, there was nothing but the nature. Their modest and humble life went by slow, and seemed eternal as if time stops.

Every morning, Grandpa climbs up the mountain to go to the little shrine to offer Omiki (sake) to the mountain god. Haruna goes to high school an hour away from home, and after that, helps Grandpa to plow his field. Feeling his heart gradually gets healed, Kudo thought that he finally found what he was looking for in their calm life. Soon Kudo started trying to transform a piece of wasteland into his own field.

Winter came. Snowstorm rages and wild beasts waste the fields even worse. Although Kudo has become used to the life in Iya, nature was harsh and he was too weak. Kudo despaired of himself, realized he would not be able to live without modern conveniences that he used to have in Tokyo.

On the other hand, a group of nature conservationists made their protest much stronger. “Save Iya! Save Iya!” Their voice echoed through the hills. But they too realized their movement was unsuccessful in the end.


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