The devastated Nagashima in ‘The Land of Hope’.
Sion doesn’t overreach for the unique, but rather keeps the focus on realism, indulging in magic lyrical moments only on a couple of occasions. The result is a fairly empathetic experience, even when the story wanders, visiting sub-themes such as peer-pressure or mistrust of the government.
Samuel Goldwyn said that a movie ‘should start with an earthquake and build to a climax’. Sion Sono, the director of ‘The Land of Hope’, obviously took notice,