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Side by Side

Saido bai saido tonari ni iru hito
dir. Chihiro Ito
Japan 2023, 130’
subtitles: Polish and English

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European premiere
Audiodescription screenings
Theatrical Screenings
Fr 17 Nov, 18:15
Kinoteka 3
Kinoteka 3
Su 19 Nov, 15:30
Kinoteka 1
Kinoteka 1
Online Availability
15 Nov, 10:00 – 3 Dec
Additional Materials
Awards and festivals
World premiere: Osaka Asian Film Festival
Japan 2023
Duration: 130’
director: Chihiro Ito
screenplay: Chihiro Ito
cinematography: Tai Ouchi
editing: Kazumi Wakimoto
music: Youki Kojima
cast: Kentaro Sakaguchi, Asuka Saito, Kodai Asaka, Ameri Isomura, Mikako Ichikawa
producer: Isao Yukisada, Shinji Ogawa, Yasuyuki Niino
executive producer: Keisuke Konishi, Daisuke Kurata, Shunsuke Koga
production: THEFOOL
language: Japanese
colouration: colour

Film description

Miyama (Kentaro Sakaguchi) is a young man of an unknown past and an enigmatic look in his eyes. Apart from the fact that he is with Shiori (Mikako Ichikawa, known from "Rent-A-Cat"), we know very little about his life. He suddenly appeared in a small town and the locals welcomed him with open arms – probably because of his ability to read the minds of others. His unique talent turns him into a local witch doctor, despite his best efforts. Calmness and distance are the foundations of his personality, he is also an attentive listener, tuned to the physical and emotional ills of his surroundings. But the spiritual transformations of Miyama's "patients" take a toll on his own psyche. With time, he becomes haunted by mysterious apparitions that only he can see.

"Side by Side" combines the fatalism of the poetics of Kiyoshi Kurosawa and the spiritual depth of the worlds of Apichatpong Weerasethakul in the beautiful landscapes of the Nagano prefecture. The film is filled with doubts, but also with fascination with the beautifully grasped, inclusive world of nature, and the spiritual world the protagonists suddenly interact with. It is a visual meditation on the way in which the human and the non-human elements come together in the world of nature. In his magic-realism film, Ito approaches mystique and hauntology, but keeps asking questions about the modern Japan.

Łukasz Mańkowski

Chihiro Ito

Director, novelist, screenwriter, playwright, and set designer. Before directing her feature debut "In Her Room" in 2022, she worked as a script writer. Her career took a turn when she started collaborating with Isao Yukisada ("River's Edge," 12. Five Flavours) and Mamoru Oshii. "In Her Room" (screened at the prestigious Film Lincoln Center in New York City) is an adaptation of Ito's book. In her work, Ito explores the relationships between people and the environment, the material and the non-material.


2022 W jej pokoju / In Her Room / Hitori bocchi ja nai
2023 U twego boku / Side by Side / Saido bai saido tonari ni iru hito

Festival guests

Chihiro Ito


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