Based on a true story…
The feature film production of an original novel by budding writer, Kazumasa Hayami, "Our Family" traces the emotional journey of a four-member family that fails to recognize that it is rapidly growing apart until the mother is diagnosed with terminal cancer, ironically bringing forth a hope for salvation.
Japan's top leading man, Satoshi Tsumabuki combines with world-recognized directing talent, Yuya Ishii.
Having developed into one of the most trusted and popular "faces of Japanese film", Satoshi Tsumabuki gives a subtle yet stirring performance in "Our Family" that is likely to be an inspiration to fathers-to-be everywhere. Tsumabuki portrays the responsible yet melancholy-prone, Kosuke, who as eldest son must serve - often in vain - as the family pillar in times of trouble.
Director Yuya Ishii proves why he has received global recognition as a rising directorial talent with his positive depiction of a fight against cancer that showcases his unique comedic sense and also offers a fresh perspective on the Japanese family, which only a representative of his generation (20s and 30s) could provide. It is the Japanese family redefined for these contemporary times.
About the Director
Born 1983, Saitama Prefecture. Yuya Ishii won the Vancouver International Film Festival's Dragon & Tiger Young Cinema Award for his 2007 film "Mukidashi Japan" ("Bare-Assed Japan") and the 1st Edward Yan Award for Most Promising Director at the Asian Film Awards that same year for "Bakemono Moyo" ("Of Monster Mode", '07).
His marquee film to date, "Sawako Decides" was an official Form entry at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival, a main competition entry at the 34th Hong Kong International Film Festival, winner of Best Picture and Best Actress awards at the Montreal Fantasia Film Festival, winner of Best New Director and Best Actress awards at the Yokohama Film Festival, and earned Ishii the distinction of being the youngest Blue Ribbon Award winner (53rd Japan Film Blue Ribbon Awards) in 2011. His 2013 film, The Great Passage, starring Ryuhei Matsuda and Aoi Miyazaki (distributed by Shochiku & Asmic Ace) was selected as Japanese representative in the Best Foreign Movie category of the Academy Awards.
A mother's sudden illness brings together a family on the edge of collapse.
A subtle and beautiful tale about "rediscovery" and "rebirth" in an ordinary Japanese family, humorously and movingly portrayed.
Passing sixty, Reiko is a mother who frets about her radically-deteriorating memory. She easily forgets names of people and things. But this happens to everybody, or so her husband and two grown sons believe. When, however, that forgetfulness causes embarrassment for the family and ultimately concern for Reiko's mental health, a trip to the hospital ensues and yields tragic results: she has a brain tumor and likely has only a week to live.
"I'm terrified of seeing our family fall apart." These are Reiko's last words before lapsing into a dementia-like state that compels her to express her innermost thoughts and feelings about family and an old flame. Her husband and two sons are at complete loss as to how to deal with the situation as all the suppressed problems of an "ordinary family" come bubbling to the surface: the family's heavy debts, a dysfunctional lifestyle, the boys' disaffection toward their parents, and a pathetic reliance of the parents on their children.
With the light of life suddenly about to flicker out on Reiko, the question of "What is family?" looms up to demand an answer… from the father, mother, the two sons and the eldest son's wife. Here is a new family story for a new age, and it comes with an unexpected miracle.
■38th Montreal World Film Festival (2014)
- World Greats
■19th Busan International Film Festival (2014)
- A Window on Asian Cinema
■51st Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival (2014)
- Window to Asia
■36th Cairo International Film Festival (2014)
- Special Presentation
■15th San Diego Asian Film Festival (2014)
■11th Hong Kong Asian Film Festival (2014)
- Cineaste Delights
■Japanese Film Festival (Australia) (2014)
- Official Screening
- Satoshi Tsumabuki (妻夫木聡), Mieko Harada (原田美枝子),
Sosuke Ikematsu (池松壮亮),Kyozo Nagatsuka (長塚京三)
- Directed and Written
- Yuya Ishii (石井裕也)
- Original Novel
- Kazumasa Hayami "Our Family" (Gentosha Inc.)
- Japan release
- May 24, 2014
- Technical Specs
- Color / 1:1.85 / Digital / 5.1ch