The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Q&A with “Prisoners of the Ghostland” Screenwriters

You’re invited to a very special evening! Aaron Hendry (screenwriter for Sion Sono’s Prisoners of the Ghostland) and Reza Sixo Safa (screenwriter and producer) will be at The Frida Cinema on September 18th. They will introduce the film at the latest 8:00 p.m. screening and will be hosting a Q&A session afterward. Please come join us as we witness Sion’s English-language debut alongside the writers that made the film possible. Feel free to come with questions to ask the actors-turned-screenwriters, Hendry (Inhumans) and Safa (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night), who have taken bold strides across their imagination with this post-apocalyptic script, further visualized by one of Japan’s most subversive auteur filmmakers, Sion Sono. 

The film was met with a mixture of bemusement and critical acclaim at its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival in January. When describing the film, David Ehrich wrote: “Even when nothing else in the film makes sense, the unhinged ethos of its own creation leaves a clue behind with the clarity of a body-chalk outline.” Meagan Navarro also added that “Prisoners marks Sono’s most refined feature yet.” Even Nicolas Cage has said that Prisoners of the Ghostland “might be the wildest movie I’ve ever made,” which is a surprising statement considering he’s notoriously starred in bizarre films such as Panos Cosmatos’ Mandy (2018). 

But Cage’s testament to the film’s absurdity is believable when glancing at the plotline: a violence-packed adventure where a man must slew through a nuclear wasteland to save the adopted daughter of a warlord, or else he’ll risk being detonated into pieces. Along his journey, he also comes across a mixture of Western and Eastern tropes, with cowboys, bikers, samurais, and geishas adding to the visual chaos. In this crafted world of Henry, Safa, and Sino, surrealism and violent antics are fertile grounds for a high-stakes escape story, where a man must risk his life for this one journey to go rescue. 

We hope you can join us on September 18th for a special evening with Hendry and Safa, and to watch and discuss one of the most outlandish and genre-defying films of the decade!