Can and should a film on alcoholism be cute and funny? If the sparkling narrative and colourful characters render the destructive effects of the disease all the more complex and heartwrenching, why not? Toshifumi (Kiyohiko Shibukawa) is a typical Japanese salaryman. In the candid childish eyes of daughter Saki, he is the unconscious reeking lump sprawled nightly across the doorway. His boozy antics, inventively farcical onscreen, fuel her adult career as a manga artist. However, it takes a toll on the family, eroding Saki’s self-worth so that she falls for Satoshi, insomniac writer and wine connoisseur.
In this rare probe into Japan’s ubiquitous drinking culture, the supposed social lubricant is revealed as a tragic escape from intimacy and responsibilities. Katagiri has directed one of the strongest Japanese films this year, full of verve, honesty and visual panache, buoyed by bittersweet humour and flights of fantasy from the original autobiographical manga, without softening the pain caused by addiction. Shibukawa gives the performance of a lifetime, making you want to punch and then hug him.
"With achingly honest things to say about misplaced female guilt, and uplifting messages about female strength…" - Richard Kuipers, Variety
Honoka Matsumoto, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Yui Imaizumi, Rie Tomosaka, Yuri Tsunematsu, Shogo Hama
Share this film
Please note that VIFF 2020 online films can be viewed in British Columbia only.
Born in 1979, in Osaka, Kenji Katagiri began shooting 8-mm films in high school. He later went to France, where he spent three years (2000-2003) studying under Yann Dedet, the editor for many works by François Truffaut. Since returning to Japan, Katagiri has served as an assistant director for the likes of Yoichi Sai, Ryuichi Hiroki, Toshiaki Toyoda and Yoshihiro Nakamura. His first feature was Room Laundering (2018) which went on to receive a TV-drama adaptation in November 2018.