The young frontwoman for a clichéd travel show, Yoko is a consummate professional. Though she’s often forgotten or ignored by the small crew she’s on the road with, as soon as the camera switches on she radiates 100-watt charisma and game-for-anything attitude. As the programme runs dry on ideas, she tries to forge her own connections to Uzbekistan and soon her cultural assumptions knock her off course. Kurosawa shifts gears from his recent apocalyptic riffs to something that, at first glance, seems more down-to-earth. But there is a different kind of fear at play here – that of the Other. Centred on a beautifully measured performance by Atsuko Maeda, To the Ends of the Earth offers a beguiling perspective on the pleasures and dangers of curiosity.
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