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JAPÓN (2002) - Inner Light. The Films of Carlos Reygadas


A man (played by family friend and non-actor Alejandro Ferretis) arrives at a tiny settlement at the base of a canyon. He has come here to end his life. But before this final act, he stops in at an elderly woman’s house. When, unexpectedly, her company awakens him to things he had not felt for a long time, he begins to see the chance for rebirth.

Reygadas’ debut is an unmistakable heir of the European art film tradition, and was received with acclaim by audiences and critics alike.

Cannes IFF 2002 – Golden Camera, Special Mention; Rio de Janeiro IFF 2002 – FIPRESCI Prize; Edinburgh IFF 2002 – New Director’s Award; Ariel Awards 2004 – Silver Ariel (Best Screenplay, Best First Work)


Director / Screenwriter / Producer

Mexican filmmaker, Carlos Reygadas, (b. 1971 in Mexico City) is revered as one of the most groundbreaking directors in world cinema. He has been named as the one-man third wave of Mexican cinema.

Reygadas studied Law at the University of Mexico and as a lawyer specialized in Armed Conflict Law in London. In 1997, Reygadas decided to quit his profession and moved to Brussels where he discovered a passion for cinema, visiting a cinematheque and voraciously viewing films by directors such as Roberto Rossellini, Carl Dreyer and Robert Bresson. When he encountered Tarkovsky’s films, he realised that emotion could come directly out of the sound and the image and not necessarily from the storytelling. From this moment on, the Russian director became his biggest inspiration.

In 2000, he shot his first feature film, Japón (Japan). The film was presented at 2002 at the Rotterdam and Cannes film festivals. The film received a Special Mention for the Caméra d’Or at Cannes. It was one of the most outstanding and audacious films on the Croisette that year. In 2005, he presented Battle in Heaven, which was selected for Competition in Cannes Film Festival and won the FIPRESCI Prize at Río de Janeiro International Film Festival. In 2007, his film Silent Light competed once more for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival winning the Jury Award. For Post Tenebras Lux (Light after Darkness) Carlos Reygadas won the best director prize during Cannes Film Festival 2012. His latest film, Our Time, was nominated for the Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival 2018.

Reygadas’ formally daring and visually inventive narratives present spectacular and frequently unsettling perspectives of Mexican life from the countryside to the big city, all of which he depicts with a mixture of haunting lyricism, curiosity and dread. Even in its more ominous moments, Reygadas’ cinema maintains a transcendental sense of beauty. Inspired by the epic scope of Andrei Tarkovsky, Reygadas also pulls liberally from countless other art film tropes while conveying a poetic stillness that has, over the last decade, developed into his own imprint.

Reygadas’ films tend to surprise and frustrate viewers in equal measures, but the boldness of his vision tends to win out." - Eric Kohn (IndieWire, 2013)

Bracingly, even abrasively sensual. The director seems to want to push through the barriers that separate sight from the other senses: even on screen the washed-out, metallic light seems to have a temperature and a taste
— A.O. Scott, The New York Times
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    Starring: Alejandro Ferretis, Magdalena Flores.

  • Cinematograhy: Diego Martínez Vignatti Thierry Tronchet

  • Mexico

  • 2002

  • 132 MINS

  • RATING – 18


Doors 6.30 PM

Film 7.00 PM

Carlos Reygadas

Carlos Reygadas

The film is full of such surprises; it has a lyrical and poetic power that puts it in a different class from most debuts
— Derek Malcolm, The Guardian