Karita Image


By Alan Ng | June 13, 2024

DANCES WITH FILMS 2024 REVIEW! An American’s “shady” past rubs off on others in Virginia de Witt and Koji Ueda’s short film Karita.

Nico (Virginia de Witt) is an American traveler in Japan. She works with Ren (Koki Kutsuna) for some quick cash and helps with her Japanese. After work, the two meet up with three strangers: Kenji (Kayato Kurihara), Suki (Mika Ushio), and Rumi (Haruka Hirata).

Seeing it as an opportunity to brush up on her conversational Japanese skills, Nico confesses that she may have committed a crime or two in America. The crime is joyriding, where she “borrowed” her horrible neighbor’s car and took it out for a spin.

“Kenji decides to take Nico and the gang on a joyride in his uncle’s classic car.”

When Ren leaves, Kenji decides to take Nico and the gang on a joyride in his uncle’s classic car.

There’s just something weirdly subversive in Karita‘s simple story of joyriding. The film mainly consists of casual conversations about crime and the lack of crime in Japan, followed by a joyriding trip in a “borrowed” car to a seaside dock rumored to be the location of unsettling criminal activity.

There’s this foreboding tone that filmmakers De Witt and Ueda maintain throughout the short film, which kept me on edge the entire time. Then, we have this sweet story of friendship that plays on top of it.

Karita will premiere at the 2024 Dances With Films.

Karita (2024)

Directed and Written: Virginia de Witt, Koji Ueda

Starring: Virginia de Witt, Kouki Kutsuna, Hayato Kurihara, Mika Ushio, Haruka Hirata, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Karita Image

"…just something weirdly subversive in Karita..."

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