DepresedBergman’s review published on Letterboxd:
A transcendental experience. Even if you don't understand a thing from the movie, you would be fascinated by it's visuals & theme. It's a shame this movie was shelved from release for nearly a year, as it was deemed too 'Artistic' by the production company.
The movie can't be attributed to a specific genre. It takes all the forms; just like Mariko Okaga's characters in the movie. This movie should be celebrated alongside Tarkovsky's "Mirror" & Chris Marker's "La Jetée". It is an immersive journey into the land of unknown, just like the movies of Alain Resnais.
This movie shows the journey of a larvae to a butterfly by showing various historical places in Japan, just like Vlacil's "The White Dove". Both movies are rich with political statements too, but Vlacil's movie is very subtle.
When you look into the film closely, its abstract, experimental & filled with motifs with strong recurring images. So, I can understand if people don't grasp it in the first viewing. The soundtrack is haunting & at the same time, soothing to our ears.
I would recommend every cinephile to watch this masterpiece without having any hesitancy.