All posts tagged: Drama

Until Rainbow Dawn Feature Image

Until Rainbow Dawn

Takahashi Hana and Hoshino Ayumi are two deaf women who meet at a sign language society. Though bewildered by her attraction to someone of the same sex, Hana begins dating Ayumi. Some time later, Hana returns to her family home. When she tells her parents about her relationship with Ayumi, she could not foresee being rejected by her usually supportive mother. Shocked by her mother’s rebuff, Hana nevertheless is unable to sever her ties with Ayumi. Meanwhile, Ayumi is unable to bear the sight of Hana’s distress and invites her to a hearing impaired LGBT event taking place in Tokyo which she found out by chance. There the two meet and engage with deaf LGBT people for the first time and gradually, Hana’s heart starts to blossom. Imai Mika’s movie has been making the rounds at LGBTQ specific film festivals around the world, placing focus more on the two women’s love story than the fact the movies performers and its director (plus a good portion of the staff) are themselves hearing impaired. It would be …

The Sower Feature Image

The Sower

Mitsuo suffered debilitating mental trauma after volunteering to clear out the debris in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. After spending three years at a psychiatric care facility, he is released and warmly welcomed back by his younger brother Yuta, his wife Yoko, and their daughters Chie and Itsuki who has down syndrome. However, the sweet family reunion is shattered by a tragedy when the two girls are left in Mitsuo’s care during which Itsuki accidentally dies. Thus begins a spiral of blame and guilt which pits family members against one another with Mitsuo and Chie caught in the middle. The debut independent feature by Takeuchi Yosuke throws into relief many of Japan’s unspoken attitudes toward the mentally ill and mentally disabled. In fact, Takeuchi decided to make the movie in response to how he saw his own niece, Takeuchi Ichika who plays Itsuki in the movie, was being treated both within closer circles and society at large. Therefore Takeuchi makes sure those those unspoken attitudes are heard loud and clear, …

Just the Two of Us Feature Image

Just the Two of Us

Shunsaku suffered a spinal injury in a motorcycle accident and was paralyzed from the neck down at the young age of 36. One day, a blind woman named Hanae arrives to be his caregiver. Though Shusaku’s ill-nature and verbal abuse increasingly frustrates her, Hanae also harbors a tremendous sense of being deprived that she does not express to others. Fujimoto Keita and a staff from the Kyoto University of the Arts brings to life a script which won an honorable mention at the 10th Japan Scenario Awards. The setting of Kyoto’s Nishijin district provides a picturesque backdrop for this “unconventional”–only in that the protagonists happen to be disabled–love story which examines these two people’s frustrations at what they’ve lost. But also portraying the solace they ultimately provide to one another becomes a showcase for how the human spirit can transcend those physical limitations, or the barriers put up by the world around them. Just the Two of Us is being sales repped by Freestone Productions.

Siblings of the Cape Feature Image

Siblings of the Cape

Two siblings live together in the margins of society. The brother Yoshio has an injured leg and has difficulty walking, the sister Mariko has a mental disability and spends the majority of her time shackled in the shed where they call home. When Yoshio loses his job, he crosses all boundaries and sells his sister’s body to make money for food and rent, which leads to consequences he cannot foresee. –Freddy Olsson (Goteborg Film Festival) Director Katayama Shinzo’s blistering feature-length debut is a hard look at marginalized people driven to desperation for survivable both as victims of their disability and equally exploiters of it. Mariko, played by Wada Misa, is perhaps a soul sister to Moon So-ri’s Gong-ju in Lee Chang-dong’s Oasis, both of whom display remarkable human beauty in contrast to the uncaring world in which they exist. The morally questionable actions of Yoshio and the men of their community, as the Japanese Film Festival Australia writes, “raises many questions about the moral and physical treatment of vulnerable people, and the importance of having the freedom to …

37 Seconds Feature Image

37 Seconds

In order to escape her oppressive home life and stop working as a ghost writer, Yuma, a naive paraplegic comic book artist begins to illustrate for an erotic manga, but is told by the sympathetic editor to come back once she has some actual sexual experience. Yuma’ s first encounter with a male prostitute at a “Love Hotel” ends in disaster, but it is there that she meets Mai, a sex worker specializing in caring for the handicapped. And so begins Yuma’s unexpected journey of self-discovery. Not much needs to be written about director HIKARI’s feature film debut that hasn’t already been proven by the dozens of festival berths and awards it has been accumulating in addition to being picked up by Netflix for distribution. The result of almost three and a half years of research and interviews, 37 Seconds presents an honest, fresh look at a person with a disability that challenges the audiences’ preconceptions and perhaps even prejudices.  Beating out a hundred hopefuls in open auditions held across Japan, lead actress Kayama Mei is a …

Kiyamachi Daruma

Kiyamachi Daruma

Katsuura once led the organization which dominated the town of Kiyamachi in Kyoto. 5 years ago his arms and legs were amputated in a certain incident and now receives care from Sakamoto, a young underling of the organization turned nursemaid. Katsuura makes a desperate living by using cutthroat harassment to corner his debtors and exact the money they owe. Then one day he tracks down the relations of the person responsible for the loss of his limbs. Sasaki Hideo who starred in Versus, Alive, and many of Kitamura Ryuhei’s movies branched into directing in the early 2000s. In 2015, he directed the live-action adaptation of Maruno Hiroyuki’s hard-boiled novel of the same name. Working off a script written by Maruno himself, Sasaki does not shy away from the extreme depiction of its main character, a quadruple amputee debt collector who pushes debtors to the pit of despair through malicious harassment, which invited controversy when the original novel was published. This is one of those rare, unflattering portrayals of a disabled person which so goes against “type” that …