Directed and scripted by a director at a video production company, this independent short film centers on Ami (FURUKAWA Kotone), who attends art school while freeloading in her grandfather’s home. Day by day, small life experiences nudge Ami toward adulthood, while her grandfather (KAO Osamu) gradually reverts to his childhood as his dementia progresses. Though the two seem quite different in their separate lives—Ami facing her art-school work, her grandfather a war veteran—their feelings eventually come together and synch up at last. This film has earned praise from fans and pros alike, winning the Creators’ Factory Excellence Award in the Entertainment Film Division at the 2018 Kyoto International Film and Art Festival.
27 min. 5 sec.
This all-too-candid outline of an art-school student—who has not made anything of herself—being forced to care for her regressing grandfather alone makes for a polished domestic short film that presents issues in modern Japan in a minimalist nutshell. By showing the transitory ties between people removed from the inclusivity of that which is “normal,” the controversial film Shoplifters from the same era gently brought into relief the broken dreams of the post-war middle class. This film takes the opposite tack, giving viewers an unsparing look in muted tones at the fierceness of othering that can only come from the spell between blood relatives. The vividness of the momentary possibility of sympathy that the young woman discovers beyond that conflict was truly captivating. (NAKAGAWA Daichi)