The world is changing rapidly. New species evolve to adapt to changing ecosystems. Technology and tradition coexist as symbiotic opposites that divide rural people from city dwellers. Nature provides a constant challenge in the midst of this turmoil. This is Dust by Mike Grier.
A Kickstarter campaign
Released after a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012, the short film was then shot over 11 days in an uninhabited rural area of Japan, Shikoku Island. It is therefore an independent production that was funded by a fundraiser. The film’s art design is inspired by the culture and traditions of East Asia, creating a unique setting far removed from the typical European-influenced medieval fantasy aesthetic.
The short film is set in a future where evolution has taken over and is moving so fast that it has altered the Earth's ecosystems. Inspired by anime, classic horror films from Japan and silkpunk (a subgenre that imagines sci-fi and fantasy through the cultural lens of East Asia) the story takes place in a harsh and difficult natural environment where the few inhabitants have isolated themselves in an ancient city surrounded by high walls. The city has a high level of technology. But for the few who remain outside, time seems to be turning back to the agrarian traditions of their ancestors.
The tracker's way
In such a disrupted environment, Nature is poised to pose an unprecedented challenge to humanity. It will be two men who will venture outside the city walls and discover a possibly terrible enemy. One is a socially marginalized tracker (trackers study the interrelationship between all livings things and catalog the evolution of life) who teams up with a black-market merchant to save the industrial society that has rejected his way of life. The keeper of the past, the one who can still see beyond the materiality of things, is often an outcast.
A deadly plague linked to a mysterious dust is devastating the countryside around Kabe, the world’s oldest city. Irezumi, a disgraced Tracker living in the abandoned outskirts of Kabe, is hired to find a cure by a Merchant from the city’s underground medicine trade. Little is known about the dust or the unusual sickness it causes, but as it continues to consume the countryside, Kabe is preparing to shut its gates, denying refuge to anyone outside the walls. With the city verging on lock-down, Irezumi unwillingly returns to the countryside in search of a solution and perhaps, personal redemption.
Directed by Mike Grier and Music by Sunny Zaman
Masashi Odate is Irezumi
Michael Evans Lopez is Medicine Seller
Madeleine Lee is Mizuki
Kiyomi Fukazawa is Neya
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