Director Ryusuke Hamaguchi felt he needed a break after promoting two back-to-back hits, so he vanished into the Japanese countryside to make a new movie, "Evil Does Not Exist," which premiered at Venice on Monday.

Hamaguchi won an Oscar for best international film with "Drive My Car" in 2022 and took the grand jury prize at the 2021 Berlin Film Festival with his romantic drama "Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy," significantly boosting his international profile.

"I felt the need to rest and to recover from the promotional period, which really took its toll on me. I think that's why I made this film," Hamaguchi said ahead of the screening of "Evil Does Not Exist."