Ugoku Tokai — Moving City

Ugoku Tokai

  • Lars Ostmann
  • Germany
  • 2020
  • 96 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

A melancholy-looking young man in a business suit moves through the everyday rat race in the metropolis of Tokyo. His relationship with the city is complex: he is looking for his life path. Does he feel at home in this city?

In this hybrid, essayistic documentary, the man wanders through the busy city center, the suburbs, and the tranquility of nature. He explores twelve different paths on foot, in a contemplative urban symphony guided by his musings and a map. In the narration, he shares his life questions about a meaningful existence. How do we want to live? Where and in what gear? Under what conditions? Can you be happy with just enough? Should you let go of boundaries or should you cherish them?

Throughout the film, tempo—high-speed or slow motion—is a constant theme. The visual rhythm keeps shifting, from fast-moving crowds and joggers to extremely slow dancers, shuffling seniors, and the slow, hard work of rice planters.


  • 96 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Japanese
  • Subtitles in: English
Lars Ostmann
Gerrit Gronau / Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf
Lars Ostmann
Lars Ostmann
Sound Design
Benedikt Ludwig

IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

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IDFA history

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