Attendees of the Tokyo International Film Festival were in for a surprise when the violent film Accession exploded to life on the big screen. Avoiding a traditional documentary feel, the film managed to draw the viewers in with an innovative platform of ambient sounds, then shock the enthralled with stunning violence.
The most shockingly violent film in the Competition at the Tokyo International Festival this year was also the most stunningly poetic, with an exquisite use of sound that rivets the spectator to the screen. Michael Rix's Accession, set in an unnamed township in the director's native South Africa, features a down-and-out protagonist, John, who wanders through town in moody contemplation, thinking he has contracted AIDS. The camera basically follows his footsteps as the man silently trudges through the streets, brooding on his plight. We hear cars, birds, and voices: a constant stream of noise that makes us feel right there with John, identifying emotionally with a man who has -- it turns out -- no concern for anyone but himself.
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