ばちらぬん Bachiranun

  • Bachiranun
  • Bachiranun
  • Bachiranun
  • Bachiranun
2021 / Documentary, Drama / 61min G
Available Worldwide (except Japan)
English, Spanish (Latin America), Indonesian, Thai, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese


A docu-fiction film that intoxicates viewers with the vibrant beauty of Yonaguni Island life.

"Bachiranun" is a word from Yonaguni Island, the westernmost point of Japan, in Okinawa Prefecture, which means "never forget". The film, directed by HIGASHIMORI Aika, who is originally from Yonaguni Island and stars in the film, explores the urgency of preserving the island's disappearing language and culture before they are forgotten. The film received the Grand Prix at the 43rd Pia Film Festival (PFF) Awards, drawing significant attention for its use of the Yonaguni language throughout the entire narrative. The documentary weaves together the everyday life, festivals, culture, and landscapes of the island with a fantastical world inspired by flowers, fruits, bones, and rituals. The director intertwines her own experiences with the memories and culture of the island, delving into the lives of the people who have lived there. Blurring the lines between fiction and documentary, the film becomes a compelling and captivating tale of the island and its people, surpassing the boundaries of traditional storytelling.
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Director Profile


Graduated from Kyoto University of the Arts, Department of Film Production, Film Acting Course. While still a student, Higashimori appeared in student films while learning film production, and his directorial debut "Bachiranun" won the Grand Prix at the Pia Film Festival 2021. In this film, Higashimori not only played the lead role but also took charge of editing and art direction. She is now actively promoting the Yonaguni language and engaging in various activities, including writing columns and working as an actor.
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Haochen Xu
Haochen Xu

This film was recommended by Mr. Haochen Xu through the JFF+ special feature article titled “Seven Members of the Global Film Industry Discuss Their Recent Japanese Independent Film Picks”. The article features 7 experts, including film critics and festival programmers, who are internationally active and well-versed in Japanese cinema. Each of these specialists introduces their recommended independent films from Japan. How do Japanese independent films, with their artistic and experimental qualities evident in works like “Bachiranun” resonate with the world? Find out by reading it.

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The Yonaguni language is a UNESCO endangered language. This film was my university graduation project, and initially, the plan was to shoot a full-length feature film on location on Yonaguni Island. However, filming began in the first year when the pandemic hit, and most of the shooting plans fell apart. Born in the midst of such uncertain circumstances, “Bachiranun” is a blend of documentary and fiction techniques. The entire cast doubled as crew members, and we shot under extremely tight conditions. The landscapes, lifestyles, and language of my hometown, Yonaguni Island, changing and fading away, gave rise to the urgency behind “Bachiranun”, a film that only I -in my current state- could create. I never expected that this film, like my own guts that I filmed with desperation, could become someone else’s guts. It’s an asymmetrical, clumsy, and straightforward film. I won’t say “Bachinnayo” (“Please don’t forget”). But I hope that my “Bachiranun” (“I never forget”) can reach you even a little. From the smallest island in the far west of Japan to you.

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  • France

    Mesmerising and immersive experience, the pace and the dialogue make this movie almost oneiric though grounded in real life.

  • Beverly

    Thank you for bringing Yonaguni to us, that we may learn of the island, the people’s way of life, its language, and its beauty. This line from the movie spoke out to me, which underlines the significance and urgency of this film: “It’s easier to forget than we think. Yet even if we want to keep as much as possible in both of our hands, the passing of time leaves us with little”.

  • Mexico

    Es una película que logra transmitir el amor de la directora por Yonaguni, su tierra natal. Para alguien como yo, que nunca he visitado ni Japón ni Okinawa, el poder ver a la gente en sus actividades tanto cotidianas como en sus celebraciones, escuchar los testimonios de los mayores sobre la vida antes, y también observar trabajos como la pesca o el tejido, me dan una idea muy amplia de Yonaguni. Creo que es una película que motiva al espectador a investigar más sobre el lugar y también a apreciar todos estos sitios que, alrededor del mundo, debemos preservar por su valor histórico y cultural.

  • Myanmar
    Htin Lin Aung

    I like movies.

  • Spain

    Me ha encantado. Es una película que se hace corta y que cada escena y corte se respira. Es una manera muy original de presentar la tierra natal de la directora. Siento que he estado en Yonaguni, que he conocido a sus gentes. Pero lo más importante es que no es un documental que explique la historia de la isla. Es un documental de sentimientos. En vez de presentarte Yonaguni con datos, lo hacen con el corazón, y eso llega mucho más profundo. Además, el lenguaje tan único de isla es todo un tesoro que he podido descubrir. Totalmente recomendada si queréis pasar una hora relajada, disfrutando de las escenas y de los sonidos. Preguntándote qué significa su simbolismo y respirando verde, azul, e incertidumbre.

  • Australia
    Michael Francis Maloney

    Wonderfull film I was captivated throughout by the sounds and images.

  • Spain

    Me costó dejarme llevar o entender la idea del documental (algo que me ayudó a partir del minuto 30). A veces yo agradezco un poco más de información para poder seguir lo que ocurre, la historia, la tradición. Aún así, felicidades Aika.

  • Colombia

    Gracias a este tipo de material audiovisual, una persona como yo que vive al otro lado del mundo puede conocer un poco más de la cultura, el lenguaje, los paisajes y tantos símbolos de un lugar tan fascinante como la isla Yonaguni. Tantas cosas que quisiera entender, pero me quedo con la conexión que se hace de todos los personajes y sus vivencias.

  • Philippines
    Roberto Dela Cruz

    Very nice way of presenting the preservation of a dying dialect/language and culture as depicted in this doc film.

  • Thailand

    I love how you express your memories and love of your homeland through the form of experimental documentary. A very interesting film.

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