The film is from the perspective of the warden who discusses why people are drawn to the forest and how people spend some of their most difficult moments.
The popularity of the location has been attributed to a best-selling novel in which two people end their lives there and the fact it was featured in the controversial Japanese book The Complete Manual of Suicide.
The 20 minute documentary is by no means gratuitous although does have a few difficult scenes. Mainly though, it is one man’s philosophical reflections on the beautiful but troubled environment that ultimately ends on a note of hope and optimism.
An understated but quietly powerful film.
Link to streamed documentary on Aokigahara.