With director Neil Cantwell
SUNDANCE 5 | SAT NOV 10 | 3:00 PM | Q&A
Japan, United Kingdom, 2011
Director: Neil Cantwell, Tim Grabham
Cinematographer: Tim Grabham, Neil Cantwell, Tom Swindell
Editor: Tim Grabham
Cast: Fujii Eri, Iitomi Akihiro, Tatsumi Akinobu
Running time: 87 min.
Both a documentary and a spiritual experience, KanZeOn explores sound in relation to Japanese Buddhism and guides the viewer into a world of ancient spiritual rituals and astonishing musical sensations.
The title of the film is taken from the Japanese name for the bodhisattva of compassion, Kannon, which literally translates as “she who hears the cries of the world.” The film focuses on three individuals: Akinobu Tatsumi, a young Buddhist priest who moonlights as a DJ; Eri Fujii, a woman masterful in the ancient Chinese bamboo instrument called “the sho”; and Akihiro Iitomi, a Noh theatre and kotsuzumi performer who loves jazz. As these individuals express their musical and spiritual beliefs, the connection between spirituality and sound, apparent throughout the film, is reaffirmed.
KanZeOn has enjoyed a successful run at a variety of international festivals. The film is bold, inventive and an amazing audiovisual exploration of spirituality. It maintains an air of meditation throughout and challenges audiences to be curious about the connections between art, space, nature, sound and tradition.