Zero. 2019. Japan. Directed by Kazuhiro Soda. World premiere. Courtesy Laboratory X. In Japanese; English subtitles. 128 min.
As the centerpiece of Doc Fortnight 2020, MoMA presents the world premiere of Zero, a profoundly compassionate portrait of a doctor facing his own mortality from New York–based Japanese documentarian Kazuhiro Soda, whose previous award-winning films Campaign and Inland Sea were described as “calmly stunning, raw, and emotional” by no less an authority than Bong Joon-ho. In Zero, Soda returns to Chorale Okayama, the outpatient psychiatric clinic he so movingly observed in his 2008 film Mental. When Dr. Matsamoto Yamamoto, the clinic’s beloved founder, announces his retirement, his patients—many of them afflicted with incurable mental disorders—must accept the loss of the man they’ve depended on for decades.