VIFF 2016: We Are X

(U.K./USA/Japan)

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      There’s so much back story to the 36-year career of monster Japanese band X­—which has weathered suicides and a singer who joined a cult—that director Stephen Kijak’s elliptical style can leave you scratching your head. But a hard focus on drummer-pianist-composer Yoshiki turns We Are X into a riveting experience. Bleeding charisma and sincerity, and still supernaturally beautiful at 50, Yoshiki is even more alien than Bowie, although his otherness emanates from a disturbing lifelong proximity to death. When a producer recalls witnessing bleeding stigmata on Yoshiki’s chest—while insisting on his own rationality and soundness of mind—we believe him.

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      Approx. 15 minutes away

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