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Invisible People – Hot Docs 2024

Invisible People Hot Docs 2024
A very ethereal film, climaxing with an extended montage of Butoh dance routines.
Invisible People Poster

Invisible People – Hot Docs 2024

Runtime: 01:11
Synopsis:
Invisible People is a multi-layered depiction of the unique Japanese contemporary dance Butoh that flows between revolt, eroticism, trance, prayer, ancestral experience, and physical anonymity. The film gradually drifts away from its core issue and becomes a general portrayal of life itself, with all its unforeseen strokes of fate and strange micro-connections.

Table of Contents

The Japanese dance form of Butoh is explored in . Butoh is a contemporary Japanese dance that flows between revolt, eroticism, trance, prayer, ancestral experience, and physical anonymity. Yoshito Ohno is the son of Butoh founder Kazuo Ohno, who runs a dance studio known as “the Church of Butoh.” Many of Yoshito's students describe why they adopted this art form that represents a communion between the living and the dead.

Invisible People Synopsis

Invisible People is a documentary about Butoh directed by Alisa Berger. The title is a euphemism for how Butoh dancers' white make-up and contortionist movements make them representative of the ghosts that surround us. The film is comprised of various Butoh routines, along with its more risque counterpart Erotic Show Dance, accompanied by voice-over narration by Alisa Berger and the various dancers. Particular attention in the film is spent on Butoh instructor Yoshito Ohno, who passed away in 2020, during filming.

My Thoughts on Invisible People

One thing immediately apparent by the Butoh dancing seen in Invisible People is how much this dance forms an influence on the movements of the ghosts in J-horror films such as Ringo and Ju-on. Indeed, Invisible People is a very ethereal film, climaxing with an extended montage of Butoh dance routines in memory of Yoshito Ohno, whose death in January 2020 ends the narrative portion of the documentary. While Butoh is not for everyone, Invisible People is a very interesting look at this art form.

Trailer for Invisible People – Hot Docs 2024

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.