Directed by Makoto Nagahisa | 2019 | 120 minutes | Not Rated | Japan | Japanese with English Subtitles
Premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it was the winner of the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Originality, Oscilloscope Laboratories presents We Are Little Zombies!
When four young orphans — Hikari, Ikuko, Ishi, and Takemura — first meet, their parents’ bodies are being turned into dust, like fine Parmesan atop a plate of spaghetti Bolognese, and yet none of them can shed a tear. They are like zombies; devoid of all emotion. With no family, no future, no dreams, and no way to move forward, the young teens decide that the first level of this new existence involves salvaging a gaming console, an old electric bass, and a charred wok from their former homes — just enough to start a band-and then conquer the world. Tragedy, comedy, music, social criticism, and teenage angst are all subsumed in this eccentric cinematic tsunami.
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“Explosively ingenious and energetic…” — Jessica Kiang, Variety
“Exuberance and visual inventiveness seem to come to Nagahisa as naturally as breathing.” — Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter
“A rainbow-colored scream into the abyss, Nagahisa’s story of a quartet of orphaned tweens who start a chiptune rock band is as rigorous in its exploration of grief as it is stylistically exuberant…” — Emily Yoshida, Vulture