Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles

riding_aloneimgJust the name of this movie evokes feelings of loneliness and emptiness, for me at least. It’s a story about a Japanese fisherman who is estranged from his adult son. Finding out that his son has terminal cancer, he decides to take a very uncharacteristic chance and go on a trip to China. His son is a huge fan of Chinese Masked Opera, and after viewing a documentary that he made, his father decides to go to China to film the famous opera Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles.

Once in China, he encounters many obstacles which eventually lead him to a remote village in the mountains, where he befriends a young boy, Yang Yang. Through Yang Yang he finally begins to address some of his issues with his own son.

This movie was very atmospheric, with a broad sweep of locations that helped set the tone. Everything from a snow-covered Japanese fishing village to the barren mountains of China gave feelings of emptiness and silence. Worth seeing.