After the exceptional achievements Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy and Drive My Car, which earned him the status of one of the favorite authors of local film lovers, the Japanese Ryusuke Hamaguchi (44) continued to win awards and critics with his latest film Evil Does Not Exist


Premiered at the 80th Venice Film Festival, where it was awarded the Grand Jury Prize – Silver Lion, along with four other independent awards, Evil Does Not Exist follows a father and daughter who live modest lives in a village near Tokyo, respecting the cycles and laws of nature. One day, they learn that a large company from Tokyo is planning to build a luxury camp in the middle of the forest, to offer its clients an “escape from the city”. It soon becomes evident that the project will have negative consequences for the local water supply, the ecological balance, and the life of the surrounding population.


For the previous two films, Hamaguchi also won important awards: the romantic drama Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy won the Silver Bear – the Grand Jury Prize in Berlin, while Drive My Car was awarded for the screenplay at the world premiere in Cannes, and then nominated for an Oscar in four categories, including for the Best Foreign Langauge film, where it triumphed.

Although, by his admission, he was a little tired of the media attention and promotion of both films, simultaneously released in 2021, and wanted to take a much-needed break, Hamaguchi received an offer he couldn’t refuse.


His collaborator on the film Drive My Car composer Eiko Ishibashi, asked him to help her create a video to accompany her live performance. Not feeling “qualified” to shoot only abstract scenes, Hamaguchi decided to write a classic script and shooting book. And then, unplanned, a full-length film was born from that.


“Over time, I became more attached to the material we created. This very free way of recording seemed refreshing to me. I am a city kid, and for the first time I immersed myself so deeply in nature”, the Japanese explained to the media in Venice.

The result is another pearl with his signature.


Tickets for the grand opening of the Free Zone in Belgrade, for 800 dinars, are on sale at ticket offices of MTS Dvorana and the service, as well as online through the website of MTS Dvorana, and On the same day, the film will be shown at the opening of the festival in Niš and Novi Sad.

This year’s festival is sponsored by the Creative Europe MEDIA subprogram, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia, the Reconstruction Women’s Fund, the Secretariat for Culture of the City of Belgrade, the City Administration for Culture of the City of Novi Sad, the Film Center of Serbia and the French Institute.