When three aliens land on Earth, they have a simple goal. That is a reconnaissance mission. Their species wants to take over the Earth. However they have a slight problem. They need to find a way to investigate the planet without raising suspicions. So they take over bodies of human hosts and take on guides. The Aliens steal individual concepts from the minds of anyone who crosses their path. Philosophical, Cultural, religious, sexuality ideas are transferred over like a copy and paste machine. But what will they really learn and can they be stopped?
BEFORE WE VANISH, Kiyoshi Kurosawa 20th film is coming off the back of a phenomenal decade of work. TOKYO SONATA, CREEPY and JOURNEY TO THE SHORE are three of the films in this period. BEFORE WE VANISH develops many of the themes from these. Many of the worries expressed. Post millennial Identity is central. As is the connection of shared humanity. As also is what is lost when it is lost? Which often means to those without agency. Films with alien beings transposed into human shells often explore this duality of self in control and self out of control. Kurosawa foregrounds characters and importantly, It fits into a clear body or oeuvre of the director. He never loses his people. CREEPY was so powerful because it did that. He never also pulls his punches. PULSE was the same. Then he engages in the interaction of humanity and its absurdity. Difficult to translate to a child but an alien. TOKYO SONATA had this in its bones.
BEFORE WE VANISH stands up (like many of the films in the period) on its own feet. Kiyoshi Kurosawa might be considered the most concerned director of the human in an age of machines. He also might be considered one of the best film makers working today. BEFORE WE VANISH is near to his best work.