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A film by Fiona Tan

Japan/Netherlands 2016 | 80 mins

Docufiction | English & Japanese 

Letters exchanged between a western female writer and her deceased Japanese partner, Hiroshi, narrate a journey up Mount Fuji.


Using only still images, acclaimed artist, Fiona Tan, crafts an extraordinary portrait of Japan's most iconic mountain. Balanced delicately between documentary and fiction, Ascent is at once a love letter to a unique landscape, a study of grief, a meditation on the nature of photography and a social history of 20th Century Japan.

"A genuinely poetic portrait of a place, and various people’s relation to it."


Glenn Kenny  — The New York Times

"Evoking both the insight and lyricism of Chris Marker's Sans Soleil and emotional complexity of Alain Resnais' Hiroshima Mon Amour, Fiona Tan's wonderful film captures the paradox of existing in time and space without movement. Profound stillness."

Helen de Witt — BFI

"...moving, cryptic, and incantatory."


Carson Lund — Slant

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