The UK’s largest festival of Japanese cinema is back for its 19th edition with an exciting showcase of Japanese films, most of which have only recently been released in Japan, and all of which intricately render their respective dark depths of the human mind.
Directed by Sode Yukiko
Starring: Kadowaki Mugi, Mizuhara Kiko, Kora Kengo
Hanako (Kadowaki Mugi) and Miki (Mizuhara Kiko) come from different walks of life. While Hanako has enjoyed a privileged upbringing and a luxurious lifestyle, filled with social functions among Tokyo’s wealthy elite, Miki has had to blaze her own path, coming to the capital from a small town and building a career in event planning. Yet, neither woman can be said to be completely free from troubles; Hanako’s familial pressures to marry and follow standards of behaviour are equalled by Miki’s financial problems which force her to drop out of a prestigious university. When their paths are set on a collision course over the affections of aristocratic lawyer Koichiro (Kora Kengo), both realise that there may be another path available to them.
Sode Yukiko (Good Stripes) directs this elegantly distilled adaptation of Yamauchi Mariko’s novel, deconstructing modern Japanese understandings of gender, class, and the idea that “the grass is always greener on the other side”.