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Time Out saysThis deals with Grand Themes - mankind versus nature, the immanence of the divine - without seeming either stupid or pretentious. Yanagimachi starts from a brilliant location (a small coastal town ringed by mountains), and then tells an extraordinary tale. An ultra-macho lumberjack identifies completely with the forests he pillages. He is sexually unfulfilled by his marriage, by an old flame, and by the vaguely gay thing he has going with the teenage boy on his team; his sexual energies, nurtured by the pantheist tradition of shinto, are focused on the goddesses of the place. His mind finally snaps during the town's annual fire festival, leading to a truly shattering climax. Ecological and social issues resonate in the background, and the haunting sounds and images will leave most audiences shaken, stirred and awed.