dir. Keishi Kondo
Newly divorced call girl Miyabi (Kaho Seto) navigates her life following the sudden death of her young daughter. When meeting a client, she is persuaded to allow him to photograph certain areas of her body, which she then discovers can experience her daughter’s spirit. As Miyabi’s obsession with contacting her child becomes all consuming the collapse of the world she inhabits looms ever closer.
Utilising an Argento-esque approach to colour theory New Religion is visually stunning, bathed in rich tones that adds depth and dimension to its optically fuelled, otherworldly and uncanny space. Every image is deliberate, oozing rich metaphors for grief, obsession and transformation.
Director Kondo also riffs on Frankenstein, bringing the sci-fi element of Shelley’s gothic masterpiece into a futuristic society where its inhabitants are haunted by the ghosts of their past. With the gentle narration of Miyabi flecked by shocking death scenes, the beautiful visuals and amazing soundscape combine to make this feature debut an immersive art experience.
© Ygraine Hackett-Cantabrana