Documentary Month 1st - 31st July 2023

Glossary of an Empty Orchestra (鏡花水月

Glossary of an Empty Orchestra (鏡花水月


In Glossary of an Empty Orchestra (鏡花水月), the boundaries between reality, memories and dreams are temporarily dissolved in order to parallel the film-maker’s internal sense of liminality as a ‘hāfu’ (half-Japanese, half-Australian). Drawing on Japanese folklore, memories of the past, and contemporary anxieties, the narrator journeys across her father’s hometown of Sōma, Fukushima, in search of a language that can temporarily capture such liminal entities, including herself. The location of Sōma brings with it a particularly strong presence of ghosts with whom the filmmaker engages. It is located in-between two nightmares; the 2011 Tōhoku Tsunami and the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. Throughout the film, the narrator speaks outside of her mother-tongue, instead speaking in broken Japanese (her father-tongue) as a means to vocalise this space 'where words don't reach'. The resulting Japanese narration and English subtitles are not simply translations of each other. Rather, they tell parallel stories that aim to capture the shared, often uncomfortable, meaning which sits in-between.

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