Berlinale: Makoto Nagahisa’s ‘We Are Little Zombies’ flips the script on loss, challenging audience’s notions of grief and love

"We Are Little Zombies" is competing in the Generation 14plus section at the Berlinale. The film from Makoto Nagahisa follows four Japanese teenagers dealing with the deaths of their respective parents.

Photo of Sena Nakashima, Keita Ninomiya, Mondo Okumura, Satoshi Mizuno from "We Are Little Zombies." © 2019 “WE ARE LITTLE ZOMBIES” FILM PARTNERS

Though Makoto Nagahisa’s first feature film deals with the topic of death, “We Are Little Zombies” is not your typical story about grief. The film, written and directed by Nagahisa, follows the journey of four teenagers, united not just by the deaths of their respective parents but by their inability to cry over their losses.

Nagahisa weaves between genres and musical styles in his film, taking the audience on one wild ride. We ask the Japanese filmmaker how his background in advertising and animation influenced the look of “We Are Little Zombies” and how his film treats the concept of love.

“We Are Little Zombies,” which won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Originality at Sundance, is competing this week for a prize in the Generation 14plus category at the Berlinale.