Kaze no denwa [Voices in the Wind] (2020)

Kaze no denwa (the name for a disconnected phone box in Japan, said to be able to let you speak to the loved ones you lost)
Director: Nobuhiro Suwa
Writer: Kyôko Inukai, Nobuhiro Suwa
Cast: Serena Motola, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Tomokazu Miura, Makiko Watanabe, Mirai Yamamoto, Shoko Ikezu, Toshiyuki Nishida, Fusako Urabe
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 24.10.2020

Haru (Serena Motola) lost her parents and her brother in the Tohoku earthquake and the ensuing tsunami almost a decade ago. She has been living with her aunt Hiroko (Makiko Watanabe) ever since, quite a way away from her childhood home. When Hiroko has to go to the hospital unexpectedly, by now 14 years-old Haru’s last anchor is gone – and she sets off to revisit what remains of the town she grew up in. Along the way she meets many people, all of whom were deeply affected by loss.

Voices in the Wind provides a, to me, unusual perspective on Japan, focusing on the destruction left behind by the tsunami, but also featuring, for example, immigrants in Japan. It does have a few lengths, but I did enjoy it overall.

The film poster shwoing five stills from the film, all featuring Haru (Serena Motola). The one in the center shows a phone booth in the middle of a garden.
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Love & Peace (2015)

Love & Peace
Director: Shion Sono
Writer: Shion Sono
Cast: Hiroki Hasegawa, Kumiko Asô, Toshiyuki Nishida, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Shôko Nakagawa
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 23.9.2015
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard.]

Ryo Suzuki (Hiroki Hasegawa) has big dreams, but no self-esteem whatsoever. He is being bullied at work and he now sees people laughing at him everywhere. This all changes when he gets a pet turtle, Pikadon, with which he is happy for a while. Until his co-workers discover the pet and ridicule Ryo so much, he flushes it down the toilet. He instantly regrets it, but the decision catapults both Ryo and Pikadon on a long journey.

Love & Peace is the perfect Christmas movie that has just enough weirdness to keep it from being sickly sweet. Oh, who am I kidding, it’s still sickly sweet and I loved it.


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Momo e no tegami [A Letter to Momo] (2011)

Momo e no tegami
Director: Hiroyuki Okiura
Writer: Hiroyuki Okiura
Cast: Karen Miyama, Yuka, Toshiyuki Nishida [info on the cast is unfortunately very thin. Short of watching the film again and copying down the credits or learning Japanese, that’s all I can give you]
Part of: Anilogue

After the death of her father, Momo (Karen Miyama) and her mother (Yuka) move to the island her mother is from. Momo is torn up by her father’s death. All that remains of him is the beginning of a letter he wrote to her, stating simply “Dear Momo”. Since Momo’s mother is working a lot, Momo has basically all the time in the world to brood over that letter. But soon Momo notices that there are weird creatures living in her attic that nobody but her seems to be able to see. Even though these yōkai cause many problems for Momo, she starts to befriend them.

A Letter to Momo is a wonderful, cute, beautiful, extremely sad and very conciliatory film. I absolutely loved it.

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