Film Countries Archives: Japan

True Mothers Asa ga Kuru

  Kawase Naomi

  Japan 139 minutes

Watch Info

  Virtual SOLD OUT

Available to stream Oct 14-25 in the United States.

Synopsis

After a long and painful struggle with infertility, Satoko and her husband Kiyokazu stumble across Baby Baton, a non-profit organization that matches couples who can’t conceive with mothers who are unable to raise their children. Realizing that adoption could make their family whole, the couple soon brings home a son, little Asato. But six years later, a young woman named Hikari, who identifies herself as the boy’s birth mother, comes calling, demanding compensation. As tensions escalate, Satoko chooses to confront Hikari over her claim to the child. Told with clarity and vibrancy, this involving dramatic thriller deftly weaves together breathtaking visuals with incisive social commentary. An evocative, assured addition to the canon of films that detail and redefine the modern family in Japan.

“There is a sustained emotional seriousness in this movie, with committed performances”
The Guardian

 Japanese with subtitles 

Media

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Women in Cinema Program Sponsor

John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation

Under the Open Sky Subarashiki Sekai

  Nishikawa Miwa

  Japan 126 minutes

Watch Info

  Virtual SOLD OUT

Available to stream Oct 14-25 in the United States.

Virtual Events

Livestream Filmmaker Q&A:

With director Nishikawa Miwa

Synopsis

Hirokazu Kore-eda protégée Miwa Nishikawa (Dear Doctor) returns to the Festival with her compassionate yet pointed tale chronicling an ex-con’s rough re-entry into civil society. In and out of institutions—from orphanages to juvenile homes and penitentiaries—since childhood, former Yakuza Mikami (Koji Yakusho, 13 Assassins, Shall We Dance?) is released from his most recent 13-year stint in prison. But what comes next? Bolstered by friends and allies in unexpected places, Mikami must adapt to life on the outside as he struggles to secure both employment and a new sense of self. Eliciting an anchoring, nuanced lead performance from Yakusho, director Nishikawa delivers a discerning indictment of the prospects for rehabilitation in an unforgiving world.

“A Kore-eda Hirokazu acolyte whose literary dramas haven’t enjoyed the same degree of international success, Nishikawa’s latest feature displays much of the same patience and gentleness that has typified her mentor’s best work”
IndieWire

 Japanese with subtitles 

Media

Sponsors

Women in Cinema Program Sponsor

John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation

Any Crybabies Around? Naku Ko wa Ineega

  Sato Takuma

  Japan 106 minutes

Watch Info

  Virtual SOLD OUT

Available to stream Oct 19-25 in the United States.

Virtual Events

Livestream Filmmaker Q&A:

With director Sato Takuma

Synopsis

Young parent Tasuku (rising star Taiga Nakano) has spent his life assiduously avoiding any responsibility in his small town in northern Japan. But when he’s caught drunk and naked on live national TV coverage at the local Namahage festival, in which men dress as ogres and scare children into behaving, he flees to Tokyo in shame. After two years of rock-bottom city living, he returns home, ready to embrace adulthood. But will the town and his family have him back? Skillfully weaving traditional culture into a thoroughly contemporary story, this sensitive and assured drama asks what it truly means to be a man.

“The director builds a film that deals with the transition to adulthood, shame and necessity of redemption.”
Naiz

 Japanese with subtitles 

Media

Shorts 9: Daydreams (Family-Friendly Animation)

  Various

  Belgium, Brazil, France, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, United States 70 minutes

Synopsis

Outrageous animals, sentimental memories, and mysterious creatures are featured in this program of animated films. From stop-motion wonders to handdrawn oddities, this collection is hilarious, sentimental, and sweet. Featuring works by Taylor Meacham, Benoit Chieux, Gil Alkabetz, Helena Hilario and Mario Pece, Atsushi Wada, Cristina Vilches Estella and Paloma Canonica, Marjolaine Perreten, and Aline Höchli.

To: Gerard (U.S.) tells the heartfelt story about the art of illusion and the magic of inspiring someone to follow their dreams. Excited to share a sweet treat with a friend, Anna must first pass through a spooky forest supposedly haunted by a bearded giant in Melting Heart Cake (France). On One Stormy Night (Germany), a fire burning in the hearth falls in love with a lightning bolt and goes on an adventure to find it. Inspired by true events, Umbrella (Brazil) tells the story of Joseph, a boy whose only dream is to have a yellow umbrella. A man and his dog show off their hilarious exercise routine in My Exercise (Japan). Souvenir (Spain) uses beautiful stop-motion animation to tell the story of a father, daughter, and an extraordinary journey through their memories. Slugs are having a hard time keeping up with the pace of the city insects. When the stock market hits rock bottom, the bees see only one solution in Why Slugs Have No Legs (Switzerland). The Last Day of Autumn (Switzerland/Belgium/France) finds all of the animals of the forest gathering together for a great bicycle race as winter slowly approaches.

 English, French with subtitles 

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Logo: Telescope 100x100Logo: Goethe Institut 62x100Logo: French Consulate 268x50Logo: The Film and Audiovisual Arts Institute (Spain) 404x100

“My Exercise” [Short Film] マイエクササイズ

  Atsushi Wada

  Japan 3 minutes

Watch Info

This film is available as part of Shorts 9: Daydreams (Family-Friendly Animation)

Synopsis

A man and his dog show off their hilarious exercise routine.

 No Dialogue