A Gentle Breeze in the Village

A Gentle Breeze in the Village

Soyo's tear-streamed face in the back of the pickup as they leave the festival is one of the most potent images I've seen in a long time. Her frustrations are adolescent in nature, but eerily familiar. She's trying so hard for something, struggling with her feelings, and also making mistakes that hurt those around her unintentionally in a way that never really stops being true, but in adolescence, the newness and heightened inner turmoil just makes it all the more difficult. As she sits, frustrated and uncertain, upset, in the back of that truck, my heart just went out to her.

This film is another beautiful, graceful film of teenage life from the same person who made Linda Linda Linda, and while it doesn't have that film's climatic, anthemic release, it still comes to a neat conclusion that is emotionally satisfying. It's just a little more low-key, which seems almost impossible. The setting is so close-knit that it gives a strong feeling of community, and little details like Soyo's friendship with the little girl with bladder problems (that sounds so weird and gross as I type it, but it's not) or the bit of folk lore about the ghost all combine to make it feel both very real and very quaint.

December count: 96/100.