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Directed by Yuya Ishii

Cast: Nakano Taiga, Wakaba Ryuya, Yuko Oshima

Official Selection, 2020 Busan International Film Festival

In the opening scenes of Yuya Ishii’s ALL THE THINGS WE NEVER SAID, Yamada Atsuhisa tiptoes along the white lines on a road, arms stretched for balance, a cautious treading that symbolizes his stifled existence. During the day as a librarian, he moves soundlessly through the stacks; at night as a father, he sits on the couch, staring wordlessly at the television. His only respite is his childhood friend Takeda, who together shared dreams of stardom and love for the same woman. Only in their shared English classes, Atsuhisa (Nakano Taiga) dreams out loud of a house with a garden and dog for his family. 

His life seems destined to remain unnoticed, until one day, he comes home to find his wife, Natsumi (Yuko Oshima, from idol girl group AKB48), with another man. Hyperventilating, blood pounding, Atsuhisa flees until a series of violent tragedies force him to finally speak, strangled and gasping, to fight for his daughter, Suzu. Along the way, Takeda remains a testament to the power of friendship to bear witness to our most courageous moments. 

One of six prominent Asian entries in The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society’s B2B (“Back to Basics”) initiative, Ishii’s ALL THE THINGS WE NEVER SAID returns to his enduring interest in language, modern isolation, and oddball characters whose heroism lies in the deeply difficult challenge of connecting with another human being, even if sometimes that means merely screaming out loud.

Yang Jiang