A narrative-documentary hybrid, Aardvark follows a blind man named Larry who begins practicing Jiu-Jitsu. He befriends his trainer, named Darren, and soon finds himself pulled into a murky, film noir world of murderous intrigue.
The film played on the festival circuit in 2011, where our own Ard Vijn saw it. In his review, he commented:
Writer-director Kitao Sakurai ... made a fly-on-the-wall documentary about his blind friend Larry Lewis. Larry is a very likable guy with a friendly charisma and a no-nonsense attitude, both about his handicap and his drinking problem. Seeing him enlist for martial arts training and earning his first colored belt may not be particularly deep or enlightening, but it sure is easy to watch and the camaraderie on display is addictive. You want to get to know Larry.
This changes however once the artificial narrative creeps in. ...
ScreenAnarchy's Dave Canfield also saw the film that year, and among other things he wrote:
The movie is full of references to sightlessness and the moral ambiguity surrounding Larry (and threatening to consume him) is all the more powerful in that we question in what way Larry does or doesn't realize the danger he is putting himself in. But then are all the characters are in the same boat. By the time the devastating and abrupt conclusion comes all assumptions have been blown away leaving the audience to confront it's own ambiguous embrace of both film cliches and physical disability.(Dave's entire review can be found here.)
The film is out today, January 28, on Region 1 DVD, courtesy of Revolver Entertainment. It is also available to watch via various Video On Demand platforms.