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Image: Film at Lincoln Center

There’s an old episode of the podcast Reply All I think about all the time called “Negative Mount Pleasant” — a title that reveals nothing about what it’s about. Also, the first eight minutes of the episode aren’t super instructive either. It opens with tape from a village meeting, where the community of Mount Pleasant is accosting their representative about a mysterious new development that is happening in their backyard.

This isn’t exactly how Evil Does Not Exist starts. But like “Negative Mount Pleasant,” it makes the small-town stakes feel big — and specific. The conflict in director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s excellent new film concerns the imposition of a new “glamping” site just outside Tokyo. Some 6,000-plus miles from the Wisconsin…

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