Hana gazing up at the trees in 'Evil Does Not Exist'.

‘Evil Does Not Exist’ Trailer Teases Another Oscar Contender From Ryusuke Hamaguchi

There’s nothing quite like fall film festival season: the hopeful up-and-comers, the blockbuster bows, the Oscar-baiters hoping to steal a slice of that recency bias in their campaign for that elusive golden statuette, and, of course, the immeasurably rewarding experience of catching features from all over the world to freshen up your cultural palate.

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Evil Does Not Exist, the latest from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car), belongs to the latter, and as the film guns for a North American theatrical release, it doesn’t look like a festival ticket will be needed to drink in this masterclass in quiet power after all.

But what’s the deal with Hamaguchi’s Grand Jury Prize winner of the 80th Venice International Film Festival? Here’s everything you need to know about Evil Does Not Exist.

What is Evil Does Not Exist about?

Described by one critic as a “gorgeous eco-fable,” Evil Does Not Exist tells the story of single parent Takumi and his daughter Hana, who live a peaceful, simple life together in the strikingly beautiful forest of Harasawa. But, when the company known as Playmode marks Harasawa for an expansion of their tourism ventures, the impact on the environment and those who inhabit it mutates into something quite tragic.

Who stars in Evil Does Not Exist?

Hitoshi Omika and Ryo Nishikawa star as Takumi and Hana, respectively, alongside Ryuji Kosaka, Ayaka Shibutani, Hazuki Kikuchi, and Hiroyuki Miura.

The film was written and directed by Hamaguchi, whose 2021 film Drive My Car earned nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay, and a win for Best International Feature at the 94th Academy Awards.

When will Evil Does Not Exist hit theaters?

Hana and her father Takumi observing nature in 'Evil Does Not Exist'
(Sideshow Releasing)

At the time of this writing, international distributors Sideshow and Janus Films have not revealed when we can expect Evil Does Not Exist to hit theaters overseas—let alone in the U.S.—but they have confirmed it will be after the film has finished its run on the fall film festival circuit. It’s probably safe to say that this one will arrive sometime in the winter.

(featured image: Sideshow Releasing)


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Charlotte Simmons
Charlotte is a freelance writer at The Mary Sue and We Got This Covered. She's been writing professionally since 2018 (a year before she completed her English and Journalism degrees at St. Thomas University), and is likely to exert herself if given the chance to write about film or video games.