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Under the Turquoise Sky (ターコイズの空の下で) Movie Review – A Love Letter to Mongolia

Director: Kentaro
Starring: Yuya YagiraAmarsaikhan Baljinnyam, and Akaji Maro
Movie Length: 1 hour 35 minutes

What’s it about: Takeshi (Yuya Yagira), a spoiled young man whose journey takes him to Mongolia. Takeshi is entrusted with a task by his dying grandfather (Akaji Maro) to find his daughter from World War 2. Accompanied by Amra (Amarsaikhan Baljinnyam), Takeshi navigates Mongolia’s vast landscapes.

What Vanessa thought: In the presence of Director Kentaro and Star Yuya Yagira, ‘Under the Turquoise Sky’ made its debut to the North American audience in New York City. Mongolia which is rarely shown on film, and with visually stunning cinematography Kentaro captured the country’s essence, while also paying homage to it’s history. The hills, grasslands, and waters, all under the turquoise sky… it was all mesmerizing. The film serves as a heartfelt love letter to Mongolia, setting it apart from other Asian countries. The film encourages the audience to broaden their understanding of this unique location.

Throughout the movie, layers of privilege surrounding Takeshi’s character are gradually peeled away. By the end, viewers are captivated by Takeshi’s transformation, portrayed brilliantly by Yuya’s performance, as he evolves from a spoiled individual to a more humbled man. The film is particularly noteworthy for the scenes utilizing small hand signals, body language, and facial expressions. The cast’s exceptional performances deliver raw and authentic experiences that seamlessly enrich the storyline.

Vanessa’s grade: A. With minimal dialogue and beautiful cinematography it is a marvel of a movie.

Under the Turquoise Sky was reviewed out of the JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film at the Japan Society.

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