What happens when somebody reaches out to you for help and you miss their cry? What consequences follow from your accidental failure? These are the questions posed in the South Australian premiere of Ishikawa Hiroshi’s ‘Petal Dance’, an evocative examination of the nature of grief, suicide, abandoned friendship and the rekindling of old connections.
Haraki, an introverted young woman, is obsessed with the mysterious disappearance of one of her friends and is trying to find answers as to where she went, and why. Through a bizarre coincidence, she meets stranger Jinko and offers to take her and her former university classmate Motoko on a roadtrip to northern Japan to visit their friend Miki, who is recuperating from a peculiar accident. Both Motoko and Jinko have unanswered questions for Miki which reveal a lot about both of them as well.
This film is, more than anything, bleak. Between the austere landscapes and the depressing subject matter there is little uplifting in Hiroshi’s movie. Nonetheless, there is something haunting and evocative about the portrayal of a group of young women and their attempts to rekindle old bonds and to obtain answers to unspoken questions.
Definitely an ‘arthouse’ film, if long silences, lingering shots of the ocean and contemplative questions are your thing, then you will enjoy this deep and thought-provoking movie. But if you’re looking for a fun Saturday night out or a date night, pick something a lot chirpier.
*Next screening Saturday 21 September 2013 at 7pm*