Japan Foundation | Touring Film Programme 2019

Firstsite is delighted to be screening The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme for a second year.

Love, in all its semblances and dimensions, is a state so universally experienced by humankind that it has provided a perpetual source of inspiration in the long history of global cinema.

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2019 features thoughtfully selected works, all focusing on this theme in one way or another. As the conventional binaries defining what it means to love continually give way to new understandings of this sweeping emotion, so too does this year’s curation aim to provide insights into a wider context of love in Japanese society. Embracing other complicated emotions that go hand in hand with love, the programme aims to provide a more comprehensive picture of Japanese relationships, ranging from conventional love stories, LGBT issues, familial devotion, compassion for the fellow man, transgressive attractions, to profound renderings of the devastation felt with the loss of love.


Her Love Boils Bathwater (12A) | Sun 3 Feb 7pm
(Yu wo wakasu hodo no atsui ai, 湯を沸かすほどの熱い愛)

A mother’s love burns hot. Using a heartrending diagnosis as a catalyst, this internationally-acclaimed drama charts the race of a terminally ill woman (Rie Miyazawa) to mend her family in the time she has left.

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Blindly in Love (15)Sat 9 Feb 2:30pm
(Hakoiri musuko no koi,箱入り息子の恋)

35 year old local council employee Kentaro(Gen Hoshino) is socially inept, leading a monotonous life and finding it hard to date. Desperate, his parents arrange a meeting between Kentaro and a beautiful woman, Naoko (Kaho). It is revealed she is blind. Will a tender romance bloom?

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Good Stripes (12A) | Sun 10 Feb 2:30pm

Midori (Akiko Kikuchi) and Masao (AyumuNakajima) consider breaking up as their relationship grows dull. Just then, Midori discovers she is pregnant and they feel obligated to stay together. While preparing for their shotgun wedding, vast differences in their upbringing arise.

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Born Bone Born (12A) | Sat 2 Mar 2:45pm
(Senkotsu, 洗骨)

Family ties are pulled taut and frayed when the Shinjo clan comes together for the customary ritual of senkotsu, or ‘bone washing’, of their matriarch –an indigenous tradition in the remote island of Okinawa. A humorous exploration of one family’s connection with their ancestry.

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Penguin Highway (12A) | Sat 9 Mar 2:30pm

A fourth-grader, Aoyama, enlists his friends in a mission to investigate the sudden and puzzling influx of penguins in his village; a phenomenon which is somehow connected to the powers of Aoyama’s crush –a young woman working at a dental clinic.

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Dear Etranger (15) | Sat 16 Mar 5:20pm
(Osanago warera ni umare, 幼な子われらに生まれ)

What does it take to attain the ideal of a united family? In this poignant drama, a 40 year old man (Tadanobu Asano) faces many trials in making his patchwork clan work: teenage angst of his new wife’s daughter; a new child on the way; a career in decline.

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Dad’s Lunch Box (PG) | Sun 17 Mar 1pm
(Papa no obento wa sekai ichi, パパのお弁当は世界一)

Based on a touching true story and viral sensation on Twitter. Freshly divorced dad (Toshimi Watanabe) faces a new micro challenge in the unfamiliar life as a single parent: preparing his teenage daughter’s daily lunchbox having never cooked a meal in his life. How will he get on?

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Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura (PG) | Sun 17 Mar 3pm
(DESTINY Kamakura Monogatari, DESTINY 鎌倉ものがたり)

Spectacular live-action adaptation of a bestselling fantasy manga series set in old-town Kamakura. One morning, mystery writer Masakazu (Masato Sakai) wakes to find his new bride spirited away, prompting him to embark on an epic journey to bring her back.

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Thicker Than Water (15) | Sat 23 Mar 2:30pm
(Ken’en, 犬猿)

A straight-laced office worker, Kazunari (Masataka Kubota), is suddenly besieged by his jailbird brother, while a competent but unattractive shopkeeper, Yuriya (Keiko Enoue), stands always in the shadow of her pretty sister. A gripping drama exploring universally experienced sibling rivalry and the thin line between love and hate.

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With thanks to Major Sponsors JAL, Yakult, Sasakawa and Sponsors in Kind Japan Centre, Okinawa Film Office.