“This is a tough and pitiless account of teenage nihilism...a hyperbolic scream of pain at the darkness and injustice of the world” (Vancouver International Film Festival)
Ryo Nakajima’s debut feature was penned after emerging from a post-high school ‘shut-in’ period (apparently common in Japan), and his malaise translated into a powerful film about apathy, self-loathing and self-destruction – and yet its very existence is a hopeful gesture. A handful of characters with peripheral connections weave in and out of each others’ storylines with mutual disregard: a high school girl who hides her crippling insecurity behind manipulative power-games; a sociopath and his sexist goon-squad, the hallway bully who becomes a shell of himself when his favourite victim turns the tables. Through the experiences of their everyday lives – which include social terrorism, attempted murder, self-cutting, suicide, gang-rape and revenge - all find that the world has no place for them. Their only options seem to be self-effacing compromise, or dying young and making a loud noise on their way out. Explosion or implosion is inevitable.
The film violently accelerates and slows down at will; sentimentality is revealed only to be mutilated moments later by callousness. Other films are referenced (most notably A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, whose influence is felt not only visually but also in the warped classical soundtrack), and indeed a certain universality lends to the film’s appeal – but THIS WORLD OF OURS is a unique statement of youthful anguish that stands apart from others of its ilk. (Kier-La Janisse)