All the Things We Never Said
Release Date: October 03rd, 2020
Duration: 91 mins.
Director: Yuya Ishii
Writer: Yuya Ishii (Script),
Starring: Taiga Nakano, Yuko Oshima, Ryuya Wakaba, Park Jung-bum, Yuuno Ota, Miyu Yagyu, TOBI,
In 2019 the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society and China’s Heaven Pictures launched a pan-Asian project called B2B A Love Supreme wherein six Asian auteurs were tasked with going back to basics and making a feature on a limited budget of approximately US$145,000. The filmmakers selected included Tsai Ming-Liang from Taiwan, Chinese-Korean Zhang Lu and Japanese director Yuya Ishii who contributed All the Things We Never Said.
The title for Ishii’s story proves to be apt as this 90 minute film finds its dramatic fluctuations based on a cycle of escalating tragedies derived from various character’s inability to communicate what they truly feel to others. This is down to the fact that expressing ones emotions and risking breaking the peace of a situation is difficult in a Japanese situation where social equanimity and cohesion is prized.
The opening is anything but grim. Boundless optimism radiates from the screen as we gaze upon three high schoolers, two guitar-wielding boys and a girl, who amble along an open road on a balmy summer’s day. An upbeat song gives us the perfect accompaniment to these sun-kissed scenes that are familiar from countless seishun eiga and sappy romances. These are hopeful kids however, amidst all of their joy, seeds of disharmony are sown as they are caught in an unspoken love triangle that will have consequences well into adulthood.