IMDb > Japón (2002)
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Japón (2002) More at IMDbPro »

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6.8/10   2,434 votes »
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Down 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
2 October 2002 (Belgium) See more »
A painter from the big city goes to a remote canyon to commit suicide. To reach some calmness, he stays at the farmstead of Ascen, an old, religious woman. Although but a few words are spoken, love grows. | Add synopsis »
16 wins & 8 nominations See more »
(10 articles)
User Reviews:
A good reason for cinema to persist See more (44 total) »


  (in credits order)
Alejandro Ferretis ... The man
Magdalena Flores ... Ascen
Yolanda Villa ... Sabina
Martín Serrano ... Juan Luis
Rolando Hernández ... The judge
Bernabe Pérez ... The singer
Fernando Benítez ... Fernando
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Carlo Reygadas Barquín ... The hunter

Directed by
Carlos Reygadas 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Carlos Reygadas 

Produced by
Carlos Reygadas .... producer
Jaime Romandia .... co-producer
Carlos Serrano Azcona .... associate producer
Gerardo Tagle .... line producer
Cinematography by
Diego Martínez Vignatti 
Thierry Tronchet 
Film Editing by
Daniel Melguizo 
Carlos Serrano Azcona 
David Torres 
Production Design by
Elsa Díaz 
Alejandro Reygadas 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Alex Ezpeleta .... second assistant director
Bertrand Roland .... assistant director
Sound Department
Gilles Laurent .... sound
Jorge Lerner .... sound re-recording mixer
Ramón Moreira .... sound
Ricardo Viñas .... dolby sound consultant
Camera and Electrical Department
Jackson Elizondo .... gaffer
Diego Martínez Vignatti .... camera operator
Thierry Tronchet .... chief camera operator
Other crew
Rubio Marco .... production assistant
Arvo Pärt .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Japan" - Europe (English title) (festival title), International (English title) (literal English title)
See more »
Rated R for some strong sexuality, nudity and language (cut)
130 min | Argentina:132 min | Canada:122 min (Toronto International Film Festival) | Netherlands:143 min | USA:122 min | UK:133 min | USA:128 min (unrated version)
Aspect Ratio:
2.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The film's title only appears 13 minutes in.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Ayacatzintla (2003)See more »


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21 out of 29 people found the following review useful.
A good reason for cinema to persist, 12 June 2003
Author: Mort-31 from Vienna, Austria

Japón is not a film about Japan. It is a Mexican film, but not a film about Mexico either. For me, it is something really grand: a film about cinema and why it still exists. The story is rather simple and not at all world-shattering: a man, determined to kill himself, walks into a canyon in order to commit suicide in peace and tranquility. He moves to an old woman's house and, impressed by her attitude to life and somehow inspired by what is going on in the beautiful Nature around him, falls in love with or, or at least unfolds the desire to sleep with her. Telling the rest wouldn't take long but still spoil a lot.

The important thing is not the story (including logical character development) but the way it is told. The movie has the air of grandezza sometimes, it is the opposite of naturalism, but thus it is much more like „reality` than a couple of Dogma-style films. When you are alone in nature, well, what else will you do but admire the wonderful landscape and small events happening therein for a couple of minutes, trying to absorb it as intensely as possible? As a result, there are quite lengthy moments in the film, which might repel some people but that's a pity because it means that they are unable to enjoy the immediate experience of beauty.

In a review I read the author charged Reygardas with being pretentious and cheap, and I guess he referred to the very last shot (which, by the way, could be the most astonishing technical achievement a cinematographer has ever performed!). I understand what he means, and in a way he is right but I find that what we see makes up for this oh so terrible lack of modesty. Seldom have I heard so little noise in a theatre after the last image of a film - it was completely silent (except for one person in the audience who couldn't help applauding). And this experience has confirmed me in two opinions: First, movies are not made for intellectual critics in the first place. And second, cinema will always have a reason to persist. Nothing like a television or DVD set can give you the same feeling as a movie like Japón on the big screen. Of course, there are a lot of films that need the big screen to be worth their money but, as opposed to them, Japón is something really, really great, touching our hearts AND senses AND also (it is not a silly movie!) brains.

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Andrei Tarkovsky meets Robert Bresson who also meets Abbas Kiarostami gracielacervantes
Anyone agree? Tanquian
Modestly passable film with a deceptive title. woebagge
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the title evrimk
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