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Housen Short Film Award Special Mention (ABE Junko)

  • World Premiere

Indie Forum

Bagmati River

バグマティ リバー

Director: MATSUMOTO Yusaku (松本優作)

2022|Japan, Nepal|29min|Language: Japanese, English, Nepali|Subtitles: English, Japanese

Date Time Venue
3/12 Sat 14:10《Short films program 4》 Cine Libre Umeda 3
3/15 Tue 14:00《Short films program 4》 Cine Libre Umeda 4
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ABE Junko (阿部純子)
KOHASHI Kenji (小橋賢児)
Man Bahadur Gurung

Natsuki (ABE Junko) travels from Japan to Nepal after she receives an anonymous postcard with a picture of Mt. Everest printed on the back. It reminds her of her brother Kenji, who went missing while attempting to climb Everest. Natsuki has always wondered about his motivations, what kind of person he was, and who he was close to. While Natsuki realises she doesn’t know her brother at all, she still believes that the postcard was sent by him and decides to go to Everest to find the answers to her questions.

Director MATSUMOTO Yusaku initially planned to make a documentary about KURIKI Nobukazu, a well-known mountain climber, but it became a tribute after KURIKI tragically died during an attempt to scale Everest. Shot on location in Nepal with DP KISHI Kentaro (Noise, The Sower), MATSUMOTO uses the story a woman’s ascent of Everest and the film’s audio and visuals to powerfully convey the awe-inspiring landscape, the exertion involved in inhabiting it, and the spiritual lessons it can impart.

[Jason MAHER]

Director's Message

When people lose someone important in life, how do the overcome the grief? To me, making this film was the answer to overcoming the death of my friend. Bagmati River is a story of the acceptance of death.

Last year I lose one of my closest friends, KURIKI Nobukazu, who was a well-known mountain climber, died during his 8th attempt to climb Mount Everest. My first encounter with Mr. KURIKI was the premiere of Noise, the first feature film I directed. He praised my first feature film, and since then we often met and talked. We decided to make a documentary film of Mr. KURIKI attempting to climb Everest.

For the filming I went to Everest with my DP (Director of Photography) KISHI Kentaro, but on May 21st, 2018, KURIKI Nobukazu died during his descent after deciding to abandon his attempt to continue climbing due to illness. I also came down with altitude sickness and had to be taken to the hospital via an air ambulance.

I’m still not sure if I can accept my friend’s death by making this film, but my heart keeps telling me “I have to make this film to move on!”

Director: MATSUMOTO Yusaku (松本優作)