Yôji Yamada (Kyoto Story; The Twilight Samurai), now 85, again tackles one of his perennial subjects: the Japanese family and how the lasting effects of World War II have altered it. Beginning on the infamous day when the US dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Yamada deftly sketches the comings and goings of widowed Nobuko (veteran star Sayuri Yoshinaga) and her energetic son, Koji (Kazunari Ninomiya), a med student. After the bomb is dropped, Nobuko hopes against hope that the missing Koji has survived—to no avail. Cut to three years later when the ghost of Koji, visible only to Nobuko and young children, shows up, seemingly to keep an eye on his still-faithful fiancée Machiko (Haru Kuroki)… With a fine, melancholy score by Ryuichi Sakamoto, and taking a distinctly matter-of-fact approach to the notion of a ghostly afterlife, Yamada has crafted a delicate, sometimes funny, and deeply affecting tale that’s both an anti-war drama and a magical-realist chamber piece. Winner: Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Japanese Academy Awards.
|Original Language Title:||Haha to Kuraseba|
|Running Time:||130 minutes|
|Principal Cast:||Sayuri Yoshinaga, Kazunari Ninomiya, Haru Kuroki, Tadanobu Asano, Kenichi Kato|
|Screenwriter:||Yôji Yamada, Emiko Hiramatsu|