Release Date: November 01st, 2013
Running Time: 38 mins.
Director: Koji Fukada
Writer: Koji Fukada (Screenplay),
Starring: Hiroaki Matsuda, Ami Kurata, Yui Ito, Koji Nishida, Minami Inoue,
Koji Fukada is regarded as one of the leading lights of Japanese cinema and he is someone who I have covered on this blog, from his opener Human Comedy Tokyo (2008) to his Cannes award-winner Harmonium (2016) and other titles. He has the ability to tackle subtle elements in human relationships with black humour and seriousness as well as a light touch. Inabe stands as one of my favourites because of its simplicity and earnestness but more is lurking underneath the honest emotions shared between two siblings who are reunited after years apart.
Tomohiro (Hiroaki Matsuda) is a 30-something guy who hasn’t seen his older sister Naoko (Ami Kurata) in 17 years. He is surprised and suspicious when she returns to their hometown of Inabe with a baby, her son Naoki. Their meeting is out of the blue. She steps off a train, walks to the pig farm he works at, and waits for him to clock off. Initially awkward, they talk as they head to the family home where Naoko reintroduces herself to relatives and soon she is digging into Tomohiro’s current marital woes. This digging gets deeper and more personal as the two wander around childhood haunts.