All posts tagged: family bonds

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, …

Blue Hour Feature Image

Blue Hour

30-year-old commercial ads director Sunada seems to have it all: a successful career, a kind husband, and a stylish Tokyo home far from her rural hometown. But everything is not as it seems behind-the-scenes as she grows disconnected from her husband and feels increasingly anxious about her career in a field women seldom rise to the top. In an attempt to escape her frustrations, she impulsively decides to go on a road trip to the hometown she broke free of so many years ago. Along for the ride is her high-spirited best friend Kiyoura, but her reunion with an alienated family will open old wounds and childhood memories that will only complicate matters further. The story of Sunada is not at all too uncommon. Most people in Tokyo are not from Tokyo, having moved there from other regions, some quite rural, lured either by the dazzle of big city life or the greater job opportunities available there. The fact this is probably true in many other countries as populations continue to shift from rural areas …